Voter’s Edge California
Get the facts before you vote.
Brought to you by
MapLight
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
November 8, 2016 — California General Election
We depend on your support.
Invest in unbiased information

Text VOTE to 52000 to donate $10.

With your support, we can reach and inform more voters.

Donate now to spread the word.

Special District

San Francisco Bay Area Rapid TransitCandidate for Director, District 1

Photo of Gail Murray

Gail Murray

BART Director
56,381 votes (35.08%)
Use tab to activate the candidate button. Use "return" to select this candidate. You can access your list by navigating to 'My Choices'.
For more in-depth information on this candidate, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.
Candidate has provided information.

My Top 3 Priorities

  • Improve and invest in BART's existing system of trains, tracks, and stations.
  • Ensuring that BART remains one of the most fiscally sound transit systems in the nation.
  • Improving the passenger experience for cleanliness, better access, and clearer communications.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Transportation Professional
President, Gail Murray Transportation Consulting (1994–current)
Member, Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority — Appointed position (2005–current)
Acting Director of Transportation, UC Berkeley (1990–1991)
City Councilmember, Walnut Creek — Elected position (1981–1991)
Director, Central Contra Costa Transit Authority — Appointed position (1982–1991)
Mayor, Walnut Creek — Elected position (1989–1990)
Berkeley TRiP Project Manager, UC Berkeley (1980–1989)
Mayor, Walnut Creek — Elected position (1984–1985)
General Manager, Bay Area Transportation Corp. (1978–1980)

Education

San Jose State University Bachelor of Arts, English (current)
Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government Master of Public Administration (current)

Community Activities

Research Associate, Mineta Transportation Institute (1994–current)
Member, California Elected Women’s Association for Education and Research (1989–current)
Trustee and Founding Member, Diablo Regional Arts Association (1993–current)
Chair, State of California Departmental Transportation Advisory Committee (1997–1998)
Board of Directors, Harvard University Alumni Association (1993–1996)

Biography

Gail Murray is Vice President of the BART Board of Directors. She represents District 1, which includes Martinez, Pleasant Hill, Pacheco, Clayton, half of Concord and Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Alamo, Danville, and San Ramon. She has a BA from San Jose State University and a MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Gail has a broad range of experience in government, working with elected officials of different points of view to build a consensus that benefits the people she represents. She is the current Chair of the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Agency, which runs trains through 6 counties from Placer County to Santa Clara County, a route of 170 miles. She also represents BART on the Contra Costa Transportation Authority. Previously, she has been Mayor, Council Member, Planning Commissioner, and Transportation Commissioner for the City of Walnut Creek, and Chair of County Connection, the Central Contra Costa Transit Authority bus operator. With this background, Gail has been able to develop solutions to regional problems that affect not only her local constituents but the Bay Area as a whole.

Murray brings to the BART Board a wealth of business and transportation experience:

  • Gail Murray Consulting
    As President of her own consulting firm, Gail has completed numerous reports for the Transportation Research Board in Washington DC, including a recent how-to workbook on integrating service among multiple transportation agencies. She has performed audits of other transit agencies’ performances and developed recommendations on strategies to improve access to transit for low-income communities and people with disabilities. She is also a Research Associate with the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University.
  • University of California at Berkeley
    For 10 years, Murray worked at the University of California at Berkeley, where she created the Berkeley TRiP Commute Store, which promoted alternatives to the single-occupant automobile. She also held the position of Acting Director of Transportation for the campus.
  • AC Transit District in Oakland
    As the Acting Assistant General Manager of Service Development and Marketing , she managed a staff of 65 and a budget of $4.2 million. During her time there, her staff laid the initial groundwork for the East Bay Bus Rapid Transit, a 9.5 mile “light rail on wheels” that is now beginning construction.
  • Bay Area Transportation Corporation
    Gail was General Manager of a private non-profit paratransit company in Hayward, serving older adults, persons with disabilities, and Head Start preschoolers. She managed a fleet of 35 buses serving 11 cities.
  • High School and Adult Education Teacher
    After graduation from college, Gail taught high school English and journalism in Santa Clara Unified School District and adult education in the Mt. View-Los Altos school district.

Since moving to Walnut Creek in 1970, Gail has actively participated in her community.

  • Joined citizen leaders to pass the 1974 Open Space bond, stopping a proposed development in the foothills of Mt. Diablo and purchasing 2,500 acres of permanent open space;
  • Led the Woodlands Homeowners Association as past president;
  • Championed the construction of the Lesher Center for the Arts--as Mayor on opening night, she welcomed Bob Hope as the headliner;
  • Created the Diablo Regional Arts Association as a founding member and current Trustee;
  • Founded the Walnut Creek Sister Cities organization with Noceto, Italy and later Siofok, Hungary.

Gail is a current member of WTS (Women’s Transportation Seminar), AAUW (American Association of University Women) and the League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley. She is also a past member of the Harvard Alumni Association Board of Directors and past Chair of the California Departmental Transportation Advisory Committee.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Democratic Party
  • Sierra Club
  • Mt. Diablo Education Association

Organizations (5)

  • Central Labor Council of Contra Costa County, AFL-CIO
  • Contra Costa Building Trades Council
  • League of Conservation Voters
  • Northern California Carpenters Regional Council
  • IBEW Local 302

Elected Officials (38)

  • Assemblymember Bill Dodd, California’s 4th Assembly District
  • Concord Councilmember & Retired Army Major General Dan Helix
  • Former Contra Costa County Supervisor Donna Gerber
  • Martinez Councilmember Mark Ross
  • San Ramon Councilmember Philip O’Loane
  • Pleasant Hill Councilmember David Durant
  • Martinez Councilmember Anamarie Avila Farias
  • Former BART Director Carole Ward Allen
  • Martinez Mayor Rob Schroder
  • First Mayor of San Ramon Diane Schinnerer
  • Former Mayor of San Ramon Patricia Boom
  • Former Vice Mayor of San Ramon Carol Rowley
  • Martinez Councilmember Debbie McKillop
  • Danville Councilmember Mike Doyle
  • Former Mayor of Walnut Creek Charlie Abrams
  • Former Mayor of Walnut Creek Gwen Regalia
  • Former Mayor of Walnut Creek Kathy Hicks
  • Walnut Creek Councilmember Bob Simmons
  • Walnut Creek Councilmember Cindy Silva
  • Walnut Creek Mayor Pro Tem Rich Carlston
  • Walnut Creek Mayor Loella Haskew
  • Former Mayor of Lafayette Anne Grodin
  • Lafayette Councilmember Don Tatzin
  • Lafayette Vice-Mayor Mike Anderson
  • Former Representative George Miller, 11th Congressional District
  • Contra Costa County District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff
  • Contra Costa County District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover
  • Contra Costa County District 1 Supervisor John Gioia
  • Assemblymember Susan Bonilla, California’s 14th Assembly District
  • Representative Mike Thompson, California’s 5th Congressional District
  • Representative Eric Swalwell, California’s 15th Congressional District
  • Representative Jerry McNerney, California’s 9th Congressional District
  • Representative Mark DeSaulnier, California’s 11th Congressional District
  • Former BART Director Michael Bernick
  • Former BART Director Erlene DeMarcus
  • Concord Councilmember Edi Birsan
  • Former Mayor of Concord Guy Bjerke

Political Beliefs

Position Papers

Issues

Summary

Please read more about Gail's Accomplishments on the BART Board and her New Initiatives. 

Gail’s Accomplishments

 

During the Great Recession BART ridership dropped and public agencies across the nation had to tighten their belts.  Today, with the booming Bay Area economy, BART is facing an unprecedented increase in ridership on a system that was developed over 50 years ago for a ridership of half of what it is facing today.  Gail has been working to address the challenges we face by adding more trains during rush hours, adding cars to trains, building more parking, and addressing BART’s infrastructure so BART works for future generations.

 

A Financially Sound BART

·         BART is reinvesting in its core system.  We have created a robust capital sinking fund for ongoing maintenance and for high-priority projects, such as a down payment on a new train control system.  The current weekend closures of parts of the system to replace worn out tracks is an example of how we are constantly upgrading the infrastructure and performing preventive maintenance. Over $1.1 Billion has been directed to the capital program over the past 10 years. 

·         Ensuring that BART remains one of the most fiscally sound transit systems in the nation.  BART has been holding the line on operating costs; our rail cost per passenger mile is 20% less than 10 years ago.  Our riders are doing their fair share by paying 76% of operating costs from tickets, the highest percentage in the nation.  Gail chairs the Strategic Finance Committee to ensure that we don’t leave future generations with big pension debts.

 

Maintaining BART’s Infrastructure

·         Developing a $3.5 million bond measure on the November ballot for repairs that are too expensive to fund through normal sources.  Over 90 percent of the bond will go toward repairing and replacing existing infrastructure—such as, 90 miles of  new track, renewed power, correcting the track misalignment in the Berkeley Hills Tunnel—all projects that affect the trains that go right through our district.  The rest will go to modernize stations, improve access, and increase capacity. 

·         Upgrading escalators. BART has 177 escalators, most over 40 years old.  We have a current program to replace and renovate failing escalators and an aggressive effort to recruit more mechanics so that the escalators can be repaired more quickly.

·         Strengthening against earthquakes.  Thanks to a bond passed by voters in 2004, 74 miles of track, 34 stations, and parking garages will now withstand a large earthquake, protecting the $21 Billion investment we have made in the BART system.  The 15 miles between Orinda and Concord will be able to remain in operation after an earthquake on the Hayward fault. 

·         Re-hiring station and car cleaners that were let go during the Great Recession, which will add more hours for cleaning and bringing back the deep cleaning of stations with power washers. 

 

Improving BART

·         Delivery of 775 new rail cars that will be integrated with the current fleet, allowing for more frequent trains and room for passengers.  The new cars will come equipped with:

o   3 doors for faster boarding with microplug technology that provides a tighter seal for climate control and track noise.

o   Six LED screen maps that show where your train is en route.

o   Automated announcement that are clear and easy to understand.

o   LED lights throughout the train that are cooler and self-adjust for lighting needs. 

o   Storage beneath seats for suitcases and packages.

o   Parking for 3 bikes on each car.

o   White car roofs instead of silver to reflect sunlight and reduce heat. 

o   Regenerative braking to pump more energy back into the third rail system, providing energy for other trains. 

·         Building crossover tracks in our district which have created the capacity for four additional rush hour trains and provide a path for trains to go around trains that have broken down and need immediate attention.

·         Building the Airport Connector in Oakland, which allows BART riders to access both the Oakland and San Francisco International Airports.

·         Building the last station in Fremont, so that residents can connect to the Silicon Valley extension, funded and constructed by Santa Clara County.

·         Building an extension to Pittsburg and Antioch, which is now being tested to open late next year. 

·         BART policing reforms.  Created two new police watchdog groups—the Citizens Review Board and the Office of the Independent Auditor—to restore public confidence after the Oscar Grant shooting.  BART’s Office of the Independent Auditor now provides the public with effective and independent oversight of the Police Department. 

 

 

District 1 Improvements Here Now and In the Works

 

Focus on Customers

·         Improving customer communications system wide by requiring staff to provide clearer announcements at BART stations, coordination of departments to provide more accurate delay times, and most importantly telling commuters what options they  have during a delay.

·         Approving installation of Clipper card dispensers at stations to make them easier to obtain and use, and exploring fare payment through tapping your mobile phone.

·         Installing new station backlit signs—more station signs on platforms so riders can see where they are day and night.

·         Creating clearer station signage inside and outside the stations.  New maps and signs will provide riders more information to find their destination in surrounding communities, new kiosks will help riders connect to other transit systems, and new street signs will help drivers find stations. 

·         New real time departure screens near the fare gates telling riders when the next train is coming.

·         Developing a plan for a new Capitol Corridor railroad bridge between Martinez and Benicia for the Amtrak rail service. 

 

Station Improvements

 

Concord

·         Modernization of the station which is scheduled for this year includes a pedestrian connection to Todos Santos Plaza with new lighting, festooned with artwork and information about Concord, and storm water planters to avoid runoff into creeks.  BART is seeking additional funds for windscreens and a canopy over the platform and replacing steel grates and concrete walls with windows to provide more natural light. 

·         A locked bike station to park 120 bicycles. 

 

Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre

·         Opening an interim parking lot for commuters until the developer begins construction.

·         Completion of the residential phase and progress on the commercial phase.  The Contra Costa Centre Transit Village has won a national award and is viewed as a model by transportation agencies around the world.

·         Brightening of the station by removing steel grates and adding large glass windows.

·         A bike station for 80 bikes with an attendant. 

 

Walnut Creek

·         Groundbreaking late this year or early 2017 of the Transit Village, which will include solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations, and an additional parking garage.

·         Brightening of the station by removing steel grates and adding large glass windows.

·         A dedicated bike pavilion to park 178 bikes. 

 

Lafayette

·         Building a ramp and stairs to connect with downtown.

·         The installation of solar panels, which will be an aesthetic model for other suburban stations. 

·         Repaving the station and creating a rain garden to catch water runoff onsite instead of runoff into creeks, diminishing pollution. 

·         The addition of 21 more keyed bike lockers.

 

 

Gail’s New Initiatives

 

Measure RR – $3.5 Billion Bond on the November Ballot

·         BART carries more than 122 million riders a year over 104 miles of track.  After 44 years of this type of service, BART needs a major overhaul.  Gail sat on a Strategic Asset Management Committee to select the most critical repairs for inclusion in Measure RR, a general obligation bond which will be on the November 8 ballot. Measure RR is a “fix it first” bond focusing on improvements to safety, reliability, crowding, and traffic relief.  Over 90% of the funds will be used to repair and replace critical safety infrastructure—power, tunnels, structures, track, and stations. These repairs could result in 40% fewer delays caused by mechanical problems with our aging system today.

·         While a down payment has been made on a new train control system, the bond could fully fund this investment, allowing a 30% increase in capacity through the Transbay Tube.  This means that on the Pittsburg/Bay Point line in District 1, we could see trains running every 4-5 minutes in the peak commute hours.  The remainder of the funds will be used for better access to the stations, such as upgraded bus and bicycle facilities and parking. 

·         BART carries nearly double the number of people from the East Bay to San Francisco than are carried on the Bay Bridge, initial planning for a second Transbay Tube could also be included to prepare for the mobility of future generations.

·         To ensure that the bond expenditures are spent the way that voters are promised, Measure RR includes an Independent Oversight Committee of private citizens.  The citizens will review expenditures and publish an independent annual report to the voters of the BART District.

·         Without a reliable BART system, traffic congestion will increase and economic competitiveness of the Bay Area will suffer. Passing the bond is Gail’s number one priority as a BART director

 

Preparing for Labor Negotiations

·         The 2013 strikes were difficult for the Bay Area.  Gail sits on a new Labor Relations Committee to oversee implementation of an outside expert’s 63 recommendations on how to prevent future strikes. BART has since successfully negotiated a 4-year contract extension—at less than the rate of inflation--guaranteeing labor peace at BART.  Gail will lead a transparent process for contract negotiations with BART employees in 2021 that will lead to fair contracts which DO NOT HOLD BART RIDERS AND THE BAY AREA HOSTAGE.

 

Smart Growth, Parking, and Revenue that Makes BART Better

·         Gail supports smart growth in our district.  She understands the Bay Area is growing, and that is why she believes in developing housing and parking structures at stations that are a return on the investment for BART, gets people out of their cars, provides parking for riders who must drive to BART, and relieves congestion on our already crowded roadways.  BART benefits from housing at stations because it provides revenues from the sale or the lease of land to developers and brings new property taxes to the cities where they are located.

 

New Transportation Options to Get to BART

·         Gail advocated for a new pilot program that will take commuters from the San Ramon Valley to a local BART station in driverless cars.  Studies are being done to allow these cars to use the shoulder of I-680, enabling them to bypass commuter traffic and reach a station without the maneuvering through traffic or searching for parking. 

 

·         Gail is also exploring other options to get riders to stations, including, shuttles, commuter express buses, car sharing, and shared parking with surrounding housing and businesses.

Priorities

Summary

Please read more about Gail's Priorities for BART.  

BART is facing the greatest challenges ever in its history since the first trains started running over four decades ago.  The system was built to transport 250,000 individuals during weekdays.  In just the last five years from the depths of Great Recession, ridership has increased by 100,000 passengers from 340,000 to 440,000. 

 

 

As a local transportation professional I understand our district, its needs, and the challenges that BART faces.  I have dedicated my career to working with communities in Central Contra County, as Mayor and Councilmember in Walnut Creek and now on the BART Board.  I will continue to bring our perspective to the BART Board and represent the needs of District 1.

 

My priority as a member of the BART Board is to represent and advocate for the constituents and BART riders in my district, a vital transportation system that moves people across the bay.  Our roads and bridges are more congested than ever and creating an effective BART system is necessary to keep our region moving for a strong economy. 

 

As your experienced and knowledgeable member of the BART Board, I understand that consensus must be built between competing interests on a 9-member Board that includes representatives from Contra Costa, Alameda and San Francisco Counties. These are my priorities:

 

·         As the current Vice President (and potentially the next President), I want to bring my leadership to the BART Board to develop practical solutions to conflicting regional priorities.

·         I want to continue to be a strong voice for the riders by putting riders first in my decisions, such as those that affect safety, access, cleanliness, clear communications, and on-time performance.

·         I am the only professional on the Board who has worked “on the ground” on transit projects with companies in both the private and public sector.  I want to continue to bring this broad perspective about government, business, and transportation to the Board.

·         I am committed to finding solutions for BART’S aging infrastructure in order to restore it to the sleek, modern system it originally was.

·         I am committed to finding solutions for the crowded trains caused by the economic boom that has drastically increased the ridership on a system that is handing double the amount of passengers it was built for. 

 

 

Please see my Issues Page for more in-depth information on how I will address your concerns.  

Who else is running?

Please share this site to help others research their voting choices.

PUBLISHING:PRODUCTION SERVER:PRODUCTION