The BART Board of Directors unanimously appointed Robert “Bob” Powers to take over as BART’s 10th GM. Powers, a professional engineer with more than 20 years of experience in the public transportation industry overseeing major infrastructure projects and transportation programs, had been serving as Interim GM following the retirement of Grace Crunican earlier this month.
Powers served as deputy GM under Crunican since 2017 and began his seven-year career at BART as the assistant GM in Planning, Development, and Construction.
As deputy GM, Powers provided support to the GM in the management of all District departments and worked closely with the board of directors, board appointed officers and BART’s executive staff. He was responsible for overseeing the immediate implementation of Measure RR, the $3.5 billion infrastructure bond approved by voters, prioritizing the roll out of projects to the point BART’s on-time performance improved to 92%.
As the assistant GM of Planning, Development, and Construction, he was responsible for multi-million-dollar capital projects such as expanding BART service into Antioch and South Fremont, all planning efforts to modernize stations, and the effort to develop land near its stations to help solve the Bay Area’s housing crisis and bring jobs closer to where people live, according to the agency.
Prior to joining BART, Powers held executive level positions for the City of Seattle Department of Transportation and the City of Baltimore Department of Transportation.
Following the appointment, Powers announced he plans to launch a “listening tour” to hear directly from riders and employees. He plans to be on the trains and platforms, inside stations, at the yards and shops, and sitting with the social media team to see what the public is saying in the digital space.
Powers will oversee a $2.4 billion budget and the District’s 3,600 employees who serve 407,000 riders each weekday with service at 48 stations in four counties.