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If You Care About The Bay Area, Ride BART.

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There are few things as inextricably tied to the experience of day-to-day life in the Bay Area as BART. Bay Area Rapid Transit is more than a rail network or a type of public infrastructure, it’s a cultural icon that serves as a microcosm of everything the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer. Despite BART’s synonymy with the region, our beloved trains are in serious trouble, and it’s our fault. No one is taking BART anymore, but we need to start.

Prior to the pandemic, BART ridership was breaking records, now BART has 80% fewer passengers than it did in 2019 and with San Francisco’s Downtown on the verge of death, things are looking dire.

How dire? BART is begging the state to come in and save them from a “fiscal cliff.” MUNI is in bad shape, too. In the meantime, BART officials have turned to the power of anime to save BART from going off the rails. I’m not joking. BART launched its own line of anime mascots. In order to prevent BART from further embarrassing itself, we have to ride the trains.

BART is currently facing a $300,000,000 deficit. That’s a lot of money. The only way for BART to recover from this financial hole is for us to ride the train.

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Remember that one time you were drunk in San Francisco and you had to get back to the East Bay at like midnight? Who was there for you? BART. That’s who. Now imagine if it wasn’t. If we don’t save BART, you may not have to imagine as service will be drastically cut.

According to reports, BART may have to limit trains, even on its busiest lines, to just one train an hour in either direction. I’ve seen people complain when they had to wait 20 minutes for a train to show up. Imagine an hour. Like a full 60 minutes. This is anything but ideal, and these kinds of service cuts would wreak havoc on Downtown San Francisco’s already vulnerable economy.

The cuts would also hurt those most vulnerable. While a lot of people who were formerly office workers now work from home, a ton of people from all over the Bay Area take BART into the city or Oakland to commute to their blue collar jobs. These jobs are essential. If you want a cashier, a gardener or a babysitter – things people in places like San Francisco take for granted, then you should care about the existence and reliability of the public transit that allows many of them to offer those services in the first place.

So much has changed in the Bay Area. We’ve lost any semblance of affordable housing. A ton of cool places have closed down, and a lot of cool people have left, but if we allow BART, an essential piece of infrastructure in a region that is woefully underserved by public transportation to go, we’re pretty much fucking done.

Save BART. Ride the train.

It’s important in more ways than you may think.






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Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff is an Oakland-based writer, editor and digital content creator known for Bay Area Memes, a local meme page that has amassed nearly 200k followers. His work has appeared in SFGATE, The Bold Italic and of course, His book of short stories, personal essays and poetry entitled Don't Drown on Dry Ground is available now!