The BART Earthquake Safety Program (ESP) was undertaken to upgrade vulnerable portions of the original BART system to ensure safety and the ability to return to operation shortly after a major earthquake. ESP’s 39 construction contracts span three counties and 17 jurisdictions. Projects included: retrofit to the Transbay Tube; BART stations and the BART-owned Muni Church Street Station; 22 miles of aerial structures; parking structures; yards and shops; and systems and equipment. With these projects predominantly in or adjacent to the operating system and facilities, BART had numerous concerns regarding the impacts to the diverse communities affected by the projects as well as impacts to BART customers and employees.
Services Provided: The Allen Group’s community relations team has supported all of the contracts within the ESP. The team is organized by geographic areas to efficiently staff multiple projects simultaneously and keep local neighborhoods and agencies aware of project information and activities in their areas, and to respond to issues in a timely manner. The team was responsible for developing and implementing a program-wide Strategic Community Outreach and Communications Plan, including maintaining a 24-hour telephone information line, a website with project updates, and a database to monitor public input; producing project fact sheets and other collateral; planning and coordinating public meetings; creating/distributing passenger bulletins and work notifications; and placing signage. The team was also responsible for keeping BART Operations and External Affairs staff and the Board apprised of community-related project issues, and for managing the Citizens’ Oversight Committee.