• Debora joins Melissa Caen KPIX5 to talk about Crime on BART and Video Release Policy

  • Debora brings Carter to the Fleet of Future grand opening press conference

  • Debora intereviews with KTVU2 regarding panhandling ban proposal

  • Debora does interview with NBC on MacArthur BART platform

  • Debora stands up for paratransit riders in KPIX interview

  • BART welcomes its new Chief of Police, Ed Alvarez

  • Phil Matier Interviewing Director Allen

  • Debora at Press Conference Opposing AB2923 Legislation with other community leaders

  • Debora has done hundreds of media interviews in the last 4 years. Here she interviews with ABC7 and FOX2 about her panhandling ban proposal

Media - Debora Allen

BART Director Debora Allen has given hundreds of media interviews since her first election in 2016, far more than most other BART board directors. In addition, she has authored several opinion pieces for the East Bay Times, and  monthly columns for the Clayton-Concord Pioneer print and online news sources. Because of her common sense stands on many BART issues, she is one of the most interviewed BART Directors since 2016. Here is just a sample of some of the work Director Allen has done for the riders, workers and taxpayers of Contra Costa County in the last four years.

On Camera/Podcast


BART Derailed: Tunnel Vision (Season 1, Chapter 6)


In chapter 6 of this 6-part series by NBC's Bigad Shaban rides the BART system with BART Director Allen to talk about the crime and mayhem. He asks Debora Allen, "Why haven't we seen substantial change?" Her answer, "I don't think there's been a strong enough will of the board". NBC reached out to all 9 BART Board Directors. Debora Allen was the only one willing to speak to them. Her interview starts at the 5:10 mark.





BART Director Considering Ban On Panhandlers


“What the panhandling ordinance would prohibit is people asking for money and that would have to include the street performers that, or I should say the train performers who ask for money after they perform. But it also includes people like the women who walk around with infants in slings,” said Allen.

  KPIX5 CBS SF BAY AREA August 18, 2019




One Board Member Wants to Put Brakes on Fare Increases


“We just raised bridge tolls, we just raised gas taxes, the average working commuter is getting hit too hard and I don’t think right now is the right time to raise our fares,” Debora Allen told KPIX 5.

“I’m saying that 12 million dollars is not critical at this time to fund into those major projects. We currently have somewhere around 700 million dollars sitting in unreserved cash and cash equivalents in our bank accounts,” Debora Allen said.

 KPIX5 CBS SF BAY AREA June 4, 2019



Customer Satisfaction Down But Fares May Rise


“The rider is not happy with what they get when they get on BART,” said the transit agency’s director, Debora Allen. 

BART’s every other year inflation rate fare increase is set to kick in Jan. 1, 2020 with a fare hike of a 5.4 percent and then this June, BART directors are set to OK another inflation rate hike for January of 2022. But not all on the board are on board for the hike.

“Now is not the time to do that when our ridership is still declining and our rider satisfaction is declining as well,” Debora Allen said.



Demands Accountability & Transparency


Debora Allen has been pushing for and requesting transparency & accountability since she was elected. Fare Evasion is costing BART an estimated $25-35 Million per year. Citations don't work! Police Officers and tougher fare gate systems do.




Passenger Safety for ALL Riders


Debora Allen prioritizes passenger safety and rider experience for ALL riders. 




Campaign Promises Kept


Debora Allen is an experienced business woman fighting for Suburban riders in District 1, central Contra Costa County from Martinez to San Ramon.

East County Today Podcast January 14, 2019




Where is the Money Going?


Debora Allen launched her 2016 Campaign to make BART accountable to the taxpayers and represent District 1 of Contra Costa County. Debora Allen prioritizes managing tax payer dollars to improve BART.

Campaign Video from 2016 election October 2016


Print/Online News





Bay Area transit agencies are grappling with spiking homelessness. Here's how BART is trying to help


March 1, 2021, Mallory Moench

"Director Debora Allen said the crisis demands compassion, but cautioned that the agency cannot fix it alone and trying to do so 'is going to take a lot of money and that concerns me.' She referenced a meeting Thursday where the board learned the pandemic will cost the agency more than $1 billion in revenue losses."

BART cannot solve the homeless crisis and it should not be spending transit resources to attempt to. Only counties, cities and communities can solve the problem. BART should be a part of those discussions, not creating its own programs. Inside of a transit system is the most dangerous place for everyone involved to target providing services for homeless people. This work should be done outside of the fare gates and BART should be focused on improving its station entrances to help ensure only fare paying riders are let in the system. Here is a peak at BART's new Homeless Action Plan as of Feb 2021:

1. Hire a new Sr Mgr of Social Services Partnerships
2. Regularly engage and advocate at all levels of government
3. Develop public/private partnerships
4. Integrate and coordinate the $9M/yr progressive policing program, a new 40 person department.
5. Implement “Be The Change” recommendations, TOD Work Plan, etc. (consultant study of 2020 about racial inequities and re-imagining police)
5. Develop performance measures, and collect and analyze data (details to come)
6. Continue to follow & incorporate relevant best practices from all over (no details)
7. Create statewide transit advocacy coalition
8. And, as I predicted last year, create space for homeless people to park their RV's in our parking lots. That should keep them off the trains!
No mention of prioritizing station hardening or fare gate replacement as part of this plan. Lack of funding is cited at every update.
No mention of increasing fare enforcement, which has been now scaled back by BART.



 BART to hire social workers instead of filling police officer vacancies to deal with social problems

san_francisco_chronicle_logo-940x350.jpgJanuary 10, 2021, Mallory Moench

“The new proposal by the BART Board of having social workers follow officers around is not a viable solution, logistically or financially,” Allen said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the BART Police Department has been understaffed and underfunded for decades, often times leaving officers without the time and resources to regularly do this type of work. BART simply needs to adequately fund the police department with more officers and dedicate more officers like Hofstein to the work of helping those in crisis in the BART system.”

BART plans to spend $9 million per year to hire social work-trained civilians to respond to homelessness, mental illness and drug addiction that plague the train system. Funding will come in part from eliminating 6 sworn police officer patrol positions entirely, and moving 10 more sworn positions from regular patrol work to become Crisis Response Officers on special assignment to the program. They will be instructed to not cite, arrest or detain people who are violating misdemeanor and some felony laws considered to be related to "quality of life" crimes.  In total, 16 sworn police officer positions will be removed from general enforcement of the law in the BART system.




 Incumbent Bart Director Hopes To Keep Pushing For Financial Responsibility


Oct 22, 2020, Sam Richards, Bay City News

"Allen said she remains steadfastly in support of BART riders, and not necessarily the fare cheats and others who she says sap BART's strength. She said the board majority, and the unions that back them, want Salcido to win, and to fall in line with their pro-union stances as several major contracts come up this coming June."


Editorial: Electing Allen and Wallace crucial for BART’s solvency


Bay Area Rapid Transit BART East Bay Times Debora AllenSept 17, 2020, East Bay Times Editorial Board

Voters must decide between directors who put riders and taxpayers first and those subservient to labor unions

"Of course, with Allen up for reelection in the Nov. 3 balloting, the unions are looking to unseat her. Don’t let that happen. The Bay Area needs her sharp analysis and her willingness to question her colleagues’ actions. Without her, there would be no strong voice of financial reason on the transit board."




Tri-Valley BART Director Criticizes GM for lack of detail in budget presentation: 

April 24, 2020, Bay City News


April 24, 2020, Bay City News

"BART Director Debora Allen blasted General Manager Bob Powers on Thursday for not providing enough details on the budget problems the transit agency is facing in the wake of a drastic drop in ridership due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Allen ... said at the agency's virtual board meeting, 'I'm not seeing strong leadership and we're not discussing the hard topics.' "



Coronavirus chases 85% of riders off BART — but the agency won’t cut service as losses mount


san_francisco_chronicle_logo-940x350.jpgMarch 17, 2020, Rachel Swan

“It’s a valid question,” Director Debora Allen said. “If your revenue is plummeting you have to think about how to cut costs.”




Rapper Tone Oliver makes up to $200 a day on busking


san_francisco_chronicle_logo-940x350.jpgMarch 17, 2020, Rachel Swan

One director is pressing for an ordinance that would prohibit all forms of solicitation for money, from busking to begging. The idea plays well with riders who see panhandling as a sign of social disorder on the transit system. 

“You’re stuck in a railcar that’s moving very fast, and there’s nowhere you can go to avoid it,” said Allen, who represents central Contra Costa County. "“Why do BART riders endure constant panhandling on trains?” Allen asked, adding that “a board ordinance is all that’s needed and is achievable with only five director votes. Who’s in?”




BART, facing big challenges, picks insider Robert Powers as new general manager

July 25, 2019

san_francisco_chronicle_logo-940x350.jpgAugust 18, 2019,

“The Bay Area is at a turning point, and our next general manager is going to have a unique opportunity to lead BART down this path of reformation,” director Debora Allen said. “The challenges we face are monumental: expansion to San Jose, train control, Transbay Tube, transit villages and, I hope, someday we address our fare gate problem, somehow.”




BART’s fare-evasion collection tally: One $95 payment on 6,000-plus tickets

June 27, 2019


“I wish I could say that I’m shocked, but I’m not,” said BART Director Debora Allen.  “I never believed that the fare inspection program was a wise investment of money,” Allen said.  Instead, she said, BART police should be issuing tickets for “fare evasion,” a low-level criminal offense that would have the hammer of court enforcement behind it.




BART’s end of the line surges with homeless as misery plays out each night

 June 24, 2019


Leaders who represent end-of-the-line areas are getting frustrated. Board Director Debora Allen is pressing for an overnight bus to shuttle people out of east Contra Costa and into central Oakland. That’s what a lot of homeless people want, too, Allen said.




Richardson appointed BART's first inspector general

June 24, 2019

Richardson's appointment helps BART "reach a new level of transparency and accountability to the riding public and the taxpayers who fund the cost of BART infrastructure and operations,” said BART Board District 1 Director Debora Allen in a press release.




BART ‘blitz’ on fare cheats gets results: More ticket sales, fewer police calls

June 7, 2019 (updated June 8)


 "They should have known how bad this problem was long ago,” Allen said. “I’m glad we woke them.”




BART fare increase isn’t a done deal; director lines up support to overturn hike

June 4, 2019


“If I’m a private business and I’m not serving my customers to their satisfaction, I can’t raise my prices because people will look for other alternatives,” Allen said.




BART eyes fare hikes of roughly 16% over 6 years as ridership slumps

May 23, 2019


"With ridership dropping and satisfaction dropping, now is not the time to raise fares at the same time that we're giving a discount," said Director Debora Allen.




CA: Flagging ridership puts BART in budget bind, raises specter of more fare hikes

May 10, 2019

"That's what I believe," said director Debora Allen after the meeting. "My analogy is that if you're not happy with your cable service, and then they come at you and raise the bill by 5 percent, the cable company is going to lose customers."




BART plans to install license-plate readers in parking facilities

April 25, 2019

SFBART safety is priority Debora Allen

“I want to be in a world where people get on a train and get to their destination without incident or drama,” said Director Debora Allen. “It’s time for us to move forward and get this done.”




Opinion:Tackling fare evasion crucial to making BART better

April 19, 2019

By Debora Allen

Tackling Fare Evasion is Priority Debora Allen

"What can a transit system do about a rider’s quality of life? It comes down to people sharing small spaces, the human behavior that occurs there and what is expected in a civil society." - Debora Allen, BART Director




Opinion: BART’s new crackdown on fare evasion long overdue

April 16, 2019

By Debora Allen

Bay Area Rapid Transit BART East Bay Times Debora Allen

"Though in place for only a week, the enforcement program is already showing promise. Total fare collections are up at the stations where officers have been positioned, and commuters tired of the constant cheating have cheered as officers have issued citations to fare evaders." - Debora Allen, BART Director




BART General Manager Grace Crunican to retire in July; surprises board

April 11, 2019

Smart Independent Leader Debora Allen

“It will be difficult to fill her shoes,” Director Debora Allen of Contra Costa County told The Chronicle. “She is a strong, direct leader. There are so many moving parts, many hidden agendas and political agendas, and I think she did a great job of balancing all the interests involved here. But I also understand that people get tired. Maybe that was just the case here.” - Debora Allen, BART Director




BART extension: It’s complicated

April 5, 2019

SFBART Debora Allen Smart Prioritizes Passenger Safety

“I wouldn’t sign an agreement unless I was given ample opportunity to read it,” - Debora Allen, BART Director




BART's Got Lots of Unhappy Customers, But Promises Better Days Ahead

January 24, 2019

SFBART Debora Allen Prioritizes Passenger Safety and Budget Management

"The last two years of continuous assurances that things will get better, that we're doing the right things -- that's no longer acceptable. Here we are, riders are coming back to us and saying, 'Yeah, we're even more unhappy now than we were two years ago.' We've got to move quickly. We've got to address the police positions. We've got to address the fare evasion. And we've got to figure out how we're going to close off the entrances to the stations" to non-paying riders. - Debora Allen, BART Director 




BART needs to fully understand fare evasion numbers

March 2019

"...there’s a bigger issue. If we can’t properly estimate the amount of lost revenue from fare evasion, we can’t really know how much to spend on solutions. Should we spend $250 million or $5 million a year on fixing the problem? That’s why I, along with BART board members John McPartland and Liz Ames, have recently called on staff to develop a concise methodology for more accurately estimating fare evasion and including the results in quarterly financial reports to the board." - Debora Allen, BART Director




Opinion: Suburban commuters’ BART parking options endangered

January 22, 2019

By Debora Allen

Suburban Commuters SFBART Parking Options Debora Allen

"New law makes it impossible to demand replacement for spaces lost to development at district stations" - Debora Allen, BART Director




Opinion: New BART housing law makes elections much more critical

October 10, 2018

By Debora Allen

Bay Area Rapid Transit Debora Allen Housing

"It is more important than ever that we elect directors who are independent from special interests" - Debora Allen, BART Director




BART Board Weighs Deficit Solutions as Ridership and Revenue Sink

March 2017

SFBART Ridership Revenue Sinks Debora Allen BART Director

"I think this board needs to remember when we ask staff to do things -- when we ask them to research things, when we ask them to go spend time on housing bills, we ask them to go develop sanctuary-in-transit policies -- we have to remember that that's a cost to this system as well," Allen said. "We have costs of the system that are in operations, but all of these other things where we sort of move off into things that don't make our trains run on time, these are costs, too, that we need to be looking at." - Debora Allen, BART Director



Paid for by Debora Allen for BART Director 2020. FPPC ID#1388000