January 21, 2010Board of DirectorsBay Area Rapid Transit District300 Lakeside DriveOakland CA 94604-2688BART Boardmembers,As I know you are aware, the Federal Transit Administration has found BART out of compliance with Title VI Civil Rights requirements in the planning of the OaklandAirport Connector. In doing so, they have concurred with the complaint filed byPublic Advocates on behalf of TransForm, Urban Habitat and Genesis. The tone of the FTA letter is striking in its strong language, an indication that this isnot just a bureaucratic technicality, but that significant work, work that BART staff assured MTC and the public was done, was never completed. Further, the FTA hasrejected a rushed analysis thrown together by BART staff. Despite BART's publicstatements, I assume that the General Manager has informed you of the severity of this issue.During the upcoming January 27
MTC discussion on whether or not to shift $70million in ARRA stimulus funding from the OAC project to funds that can be used forsystem preservation and operations, we want to make sure that you are aware thatBART's share of preservation funding would cover much of your recently announcedbudget deficit. This action would literally keep the District from needing to cut mostof the 74 jobs you will be asked to cut on January 28th.Moving forward, FTA is requiring BART to complete the analysis of the OAC projectand its alternatives. Analysis that TransForm, the Oakland City Council andcommunity groups have been requesting for months. This analysis, if done, willallow the Board and the public to make wise decisions as to how to move forwardwith this project.While BART has publicly stated that your staff can complete this by March 5th, thisstands in contrast to previous statements by General Manager Dugger, ProjectManager Dunscombe and MTC Executive Director Heminger, to both your board andMTC commissioners, that this type of analysis cannot reasonably be completed in 6-8 weeks, as TransForm and community partners proposed last spring. The FTA'sresponse to the rushed analysis submitted by BART staff last Thursday bears thispoint out.
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