ENVIRONMENTAL FRAUD

AC Transit went beyond greenwashing and committed environmental fraud when they lied on their application to relocate bus stops as part of the Line 51 upgrades. Again they wasted money that was intended to fight global warming, this time using it to needlessly move a bus stop. A move that provided no reduction in carbon, because the facts supposedly justifying the move were falsified.

combined
As shown in the sample of AC Transit's permit application, they claimed the environmental justification for moving the southbound 51B bus stop on College Avenue at Parker Street in Berkeley as speeding up the bus "by allowing pedestrians to cross behind the bus." And as is clear from the crosswalk photo taken before the relocation, the crosswalk was already located behind the bus stop.
crosswalk

When I pointed this out to the City of Berkeley, the manager of the Transportation Division contacted AC Transit, and AC Transit said they knew the crosswalk was already behind the bus when they filed the application to move the bus stop. So AC Transit admitted lying about it.

This may seem like a small fraud but it is still fraud. To me this is a red flag that the AC Transit culture accepts lying about important issues. And it raises serious concerns that there might be fraud in the much bigger BRT project.

I do not know if the incumbent Greg Harper was personally involved in greenwashing Bus Rapid Transit or lying about the Line 51 improvements. Or even if he had any idea what AC Transit was doing. Regardless, I feel that he bears some responsibility for these actions. Because it is the job of a Director to oversee the operation of AC Transit, and these things happened in his ward. After 16 years in office, he should know what is going on at AC Transit.

RIDER SAFETY

The remaining non-environmental justification AC Transit gave for wanting to move this bus stop was to improve pedestrian visibility when crossing the intersection.

However, by moving the bus stop AC Transit now forces riders from the East side of College Avenue, about half the riders who use that stop, to make two street crossings instead of one. They must now cross both Parker Street and College Avenue to get from the new bus stop to their side of College Avenue. Those riders previously only needed to cross College Avenue.

I have personally seen 2 accidents in which bicyclists were hit by cars while they were crossing Parker Street at that intersection, so I know it is a dangerous crossing.

DO WE HAVE TO ACCEPT THIS?

If I am elected, I will push for a zero-tolerance policy for greenwashing, fraud and needlessly endangering riders at AC Transit. And I will ask for an independent audit of the $178 million Bus Rapid Transit project, to be sure that fraud is not taking place there as well.

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