ITS Berkeley Highlights 50 Years of BART and UC Berkeley

April 12, 2024

UC Berkeley's Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS) packed the Bauer Wurster Auditorium on Friday evening, April 12, 2024, for a panel discussion “From Here to There: 50 Years of UC Berkeley and BART”, a lively conversation amongst distinguished academics and professionals.

The panel ­— all UC Berkeley alumni or professors — was moderated by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Board Director Rebecca Saltzman (District 3). She brought a wealth of expertise and stimulating questions to the discussion. UC Berkeley City and Regional Planning Professor Emeritus Robert Cervero offered insights from a planning perspective and drew from UC Berkeley's “BART @ 20” study. UC Berkeley Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor and Department Chair Joan Walker delved into the contributions of Nobel Prize-winning Professor Emeritus of Economics Don McFadden's work on travel demand forecasting, in addition to her own academic work and insights. San Francisco Chronicle Urban Design Critic John King shared personal anecdotes of growing up in the Bay Area and experiencing BART firsthand, in addition to news coverage and public opinion regarding BART. BART Chief Planning & Development Officer Val Minotti discussed his involvement in BART studies as a UC Berkeley student in addition to current and proposed operations and planning at BART.

The evening sparked thought-provoking and dynamic discussion covering various aspects of BART's past, present, and future. Topics included BART's role in regional planning, strategies for attracting riders, integration with other modes of transportation, and considerations of equity across transit modes and users. Audience participation was vibrant, with questions ranging from equity concerns to long-term planning strategies in light of pandemic-induced shifts in ridership. The event underscored UC Berkeley's ongoing influence in shaping conversations and debates surrounding the future of transit in the Bay Area.

The event is accompanied by a special showing of UC Berkeley’s Environmental Design Archives’ exhibit, Along the Line: Design and Planning of BART, 1965-1975, which will continue to be open in the Environmental Design Library (210 Bauer Wurster Hall) until August 31, 2024.