On Thursday, December 18th, the BART Board of Directors unanimously elected long-time BART Director Thomas Blalock as Board President. The Board also unanimously elected Director James Fang to serve as Vice President of the Board.
Both assumed their respective posts after the Board of Directors cast their votes at a Board meeting at BART Headquarters in Oakland. The nine member BART Board is made up of three elected directors from each of the BART District’s three counties; San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa. Every year in December the Board Members choose their Board President and Vice President. Historically, the Board Member who assumes the President and Vice President posts will be from a different county than the Board Member who previously held each post.
After his election, Blalock delivered a speech in which he first thanked outgoing President Gail Murray, "for her wisdom in setting up the strategic finance committee, which provides the foundation for our financial future."
Blalock then said that he would use his presidency to help guide BART through the tough economic times ahead. "In BART’s 36 years of service we’ve seen good times and bad," he said. "BART like other transit agencies will have a steep hill to climb. My goal is to build up our reserves so we can bridge the gap between the hills and valleys of our budget cycles, while at the same time provide for a fair labor contract, minimize layoffs and prepare BART for a strong future that focuses on making BART better for our customers. Even in challenging times, our commitment to delivering quality customer service remains paramount."
ABOUT PRESIDENT TOM BLALOCK
Voters elected Tom Blalock to the BART Board of Directors on November 8, 1994 and re-elected him in 1998, 2002 and 2006 to represent Fremont, Newark, Union City and portions of Hayward. His BART Board colleagues chose him to serve as Vice President of the Board in 1999 and 2007 and President of the Board in 2000 and again this year in 2008.
Blalock brings to the BART Board an extensive background in planning, engineering and administration. His professional career spans 43 years working for three cities: Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Fremont. He’s held notable positions including Traffic Engineer in Sunnyvale and 20 years as Public Works Director in Fremont. He’s the only licensed engineer on the BART Board. Blalock retired in August 1995.
ABOUT VICE PRESIDENT JAMES FANG
James Fang is the longest serving Director on the BART Board. He represents the 8th BART District, which includes portions San Francisco. Voters first elected him to the BART Board in November 1990. In 2004, his fellow board members elected him to serve as President of the BART Board. He previously held the position of President in 1998 and in 2004, as well as Vice President in 1997 and 2003 and now again this year in 2008.
Director Fang is a native and life-long San Franciscan who attended public schools in the city before graduating from the University of California, Berkeley and attending Hastings College of Law.
Director Fang is the President of Asian Week, the largest circulation Asian-American publication in the United States. He is married and lives in San Francisco. On December 18th, the Board recognized Fang for leading the effort to implement a pilot program that allowed customers to pay for their fares with their mobile phones. Fang says he pledges, "to keep BART at the forefront of being an industry leader when it comes to implementing innovative technologies that benefit our riders."