Ronald Emerson, Candidate for BART Board of Directors, District 7



Ronald Emerson is a supervisor. Find out more about him at

1 – What is your opinion of the current BART administration and what changes do you propose to make from the Board?

I am disappointed with BART’s leadership; the apparent lack of forward thinking and it’s willful disregard for practical solutions. There are so many problems that, with a little creative thinking, could be easily solved. For instance: the bike situation. Allowing bikes on BART at peak hours was not the best idea but could easily work if they did what Caltrain does and remove all the seats from the last car so that all bike riders traveled there with plenty of room freeing up space in the other cars for standing patrons, simple, common sense fixes that seem to be beyond BART’s leaders. Hopefully a more hands on Board could initiate some of these.

2 – The 2013 strike by BART union employees greatly disrupted life in the Bay Area and affected the economy of the region. What do you think the BART Board should have done differently and what actions do you believe the Board should take to prevent similar strikes in the future?

BART Unions should not be able to strike. I am all for unions and the work they do for their workers but holding a region and economy hostage is not right. The BART system is essential to the Bay Area. As such BART workers are essential like police, nurses, and teachers. There needs to be a way for the unions to be heard without crippling the entire workforce.

3 – BART police has a history of brutality, especially against people of color. How will tackle this issue? Do you believe BART police should carry firearms?

BART Police have too much authority. They should be peace keepers and rule enforcement but for serious criminal activity the police of the city in question or the State Police should have priority. Reorganizing the BART police could be a substantial savings to BART and make riding BART a safer experience. No they should not be armed. Never. Billy clubs and Tasers possibly but that is all.

4 – BART utilizes a whole array of surveillance technology. What do you think the proper role of the Board should be in regulating the acquisition and use of such technology and what specific policies do you want to see in place?

Surveillance on the trains and in and around the stations should be a priority over BART Police. Constant knowledge of what is happening can be a proactive deterrent to criminal activity and allow time for local or state agencies to respond. State-of-the-Art surveillance equipment is the future of the BART system. The recent scandal involving fake cameras on trains was a tremendous embarrassment to BART and showed the administration lack of interest in safety on the system. That should never have been allowed.

5 – How do you think BART should handle protests in the BART system?

Protests should only be allowed outside of the pay area, nothing on platforms nor in trains. It is a safety concern to workers and patrons of the BART system.

6 – What will you do to make BART more affordable to low income people and families travelling together?

BART’s high value ticket discount is a joke. There needs to be something like the inclusive MUNI pass. A pass that would allow a flat monthly fee for certain areas of the system. I’m not exactly sure how that would work but there must be ways of making that happen. There could be a family pass too along with a senior/fixed income pass. There seems to be no reason the fares/passes couldn’t be restructured to be more egalitarian. Saving $4 on a high value ticket is a joke.

7 – What action has the BART Board taken in the last 2 years that you disagreed with?

Bikes on BART during commute hours, that was the stupidest decision without, as I said above, qualifying where the bikes would go and how unsafe and impractical the decision was.

8 – Can you describe an instance in which you have shown moral courage, preferably while serving on a board or professional situation?

None that I can think of offhand but I try and act with complete integrity in all things.

9 – Have you received financial support from any entity that does business with BART, including unions? Do you or your campaign have a financial relationship with any member of the ACDCC? Are you running as a Berniecrat?

I am not receiving or seeking any financial support from anyone, I am running this campaign on my own. I seek no endorsements as I think they show favoritism and cronyism and do nothing for free and fair elections. I guess you could call me a Berniecrat although I am a registered Independent as of June.