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Tuesday November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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Special District

San Francisco Bay Area Rapid TransitCandidate for Director, District 7

Photo of Zakhary Mallett

Zakhary Mallett

Bart Director
25,000 votes (28.7%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • wBART (System expansion in West Contra Costa County): The Interstate 80 corridor is, and has been, the most-congested corridor of the region. I will continue my effort to bring BART north of Richmond.
  • Fiscally Responsible Leadership: BART customer satisfaction is at its lowest point ever due to overcrowding and unsanitary conditions. Rather than investing in sidebar initiatives that some Directors have prioritized, we need to get basics in order.
  • Equitable Fares: BART's fare structure is outdated, complex, and inequitable with people traveling similar distances paying very different fares. It needs to be restructured to be more equitable and simplistic.



University of California, Berkeley Master's, City/Transportation Planning (2012)
Stanford University Bachelor's, Urban Studies (2009)
West Valley College Associate's, Communication Studies; Philosophy (2007)


Zakhary Mallett was elected to the BART Board at the age of 25, making him the youngest Director to ever serve.

Growing up in the California foster care system, Zakhary had to learn how to utilize our public transportation system as a viable travel option.  His transit dependency helped him identify his career passion – figuring out how to make public transit a competitive travel alternative to driving and a practical choice for everyone.  Zakhary pursued an education that prepared him to become a transportation professional and shares both a passion as well as training for the issues confronting a BART Director.

Zakhary began his college career at West Valley College in Saratoga before being accepted into Stanford University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in urban studies.  He later earned his master of city planning degree from the University of California, Berkeley, with an emphasis in transportation planning.

Apart from his work as a BART Director, Zakhary is an independent transportation and land-use consultant and reside in West Contra Costa County where, in his spare time, he enjoys nature and the outdoors.

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (9)

  • East Bay Times
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • Alameda County Building Trades Council
  • Northern California Carpenters Regional Council
  • Carpenters Union Local 713
  • Laborers' International Union of North America Local 304
  • Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local 104
  • John George Democratic Club
  • South Beach District 6 Democratic Club

Individuals (26)

  • San Francisco Supervisor (Former) Sophenia "Sophie" Maxwell
  • San Pablo Mayor/City Councilmember (Former) Sharon Brown
  • Elaine Brown, Oakland
  • George Burtt – Vice President, West Oakland Commerce Association
  • Steve Lowe – Vice President, Jack London District Association; Vice President, West Oakland Commerce Association
  • Owen L. Martin, Richmond
  • Jeff Rubin – President, Concerned Citizens of Pinole
  • Rita Xavier – Member, San Pablo Planning Commission
  • Carpenters Union Local 152
  • Richmond City Councilmember (Former) Jim Rogers
  • Richmond Mayor Tom Butt
  • State Senator James "Jim" Beall (D-15)
  • State Senator Steve Glazer (D-07)
  • State Senator (Former) Quentin L. Kopp
  • AC Transit Director Greg Harper
  • BART Director Tom Blalock
  • BART Director (Former) Carole Ward Allen
  • East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD) Director Lesa McIntosh
  • Hercules Vice Mayor Myrna de Vera
  • Hercules City Councilmember Chris Kelley
  • Pinole Mayor Roy Swearingen
  • Pinole Mayor Pro Tem Debbie Long
  • Pinole City Councilmember Timothy Banuelos
  • Pinole City Councilmember Pete Murray
  • Pinole City Councilmember Maureen Toms
  • Pleasant Hill Councilmember (Former) Jack Weir

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and California Counts, a public media collaboration. (2)

Do you have a strategy to encourage bicyclists to use BART? If so, please describe in detail.
Answer from Zakhary Mallett:


BART trains are overcrowded during the commute periods – one of the key factors that have led to BART's customer satisfaction rating reaching its lowest point ever.  When the BART Board of Directors lifted the commute period ban on bicycles, it was with the strong encouragement that bicyclists only bring their bicycles on trains as a last resort in order to minimize the impact of their taking up valuable space on trains and impeding the in-flow and outflow from trains.  In surveys that BART has conducted, many bicyclists that bring their bicycles on BART trains say that they do so because of a lack of secure bicycle parking options at their origin BART station.

To aid in mitigating the impact of bicycles on trains while still allowing them, I sponsored BART installing straps to the bars near the bicycle space on trains as a way to compactly secure bicycles on trains.  In addition, Bay Area Bike Share is expanding to the East Bay while, at the same time, BART has been investing in increased secure bicycle storage at its stations.  By offering safe and secure ways for bicycles to be stored at BART stations and alternatives to bicyclists’ using their personal bicycles, we will be able to support bicyclists’ use of BART in ways that can simultaneously minimize the volume that must come on-board trains.

News outlets have reported that many of BART's surveillance cameras don't work. What steps will you take to ensure that video cameras are functional throughout the system? In your answer please specifically indicate when the cameras will be fully functional. 
Answer from Zakhary Mallett:

BART's Fleet of the Future will be fully equipped with functional security cameras and are due to debut in service in 2017.  With this investment that is already underway/in production, the situation of there being faulty security cameras on-board BART trains will be corrected.  A total of 775 new cars will be delivered over the course of five (5) years starting in 2017.  In the interim, the Board of Directors authorized spending millions of dollars to outfit the entire existing fleet with functional cameras.  However, cameras are not a guaranteed security against criminal activity and it is my opinion that the existing layout of cameras on our existing fleet fulfills its purpose: they are randomly distributed and anyone intending to commit an illicit act must think twice before doing so, as they are subject to being recorded.

What I consider far more of a security concern is the lack of cameras in several BART parking lots/garages and the substandard nature of cameras in other parking lots/garages (e.g., some do not record).  Addressing this requires advocacy and making the investment a financial priority -- something that I have been a voice for doing and will continue to be.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Zakhary is committed to being an independent leader.  He listens to and considers all perspectives, but refrains from being beholden to any one person or group.  He believes that doing so places those individuals or groups above the public he is elected to serve.

Videos (2)

— October 26, 2016 Mallett For BART 2016

As BART's District 7 Director, Zakhary Mallett has moved the effort to bring BART to San Pablo, Pinole, and Hercules further in the past two years than happened in the twenty years prior! Re-Elect BART Director Z Mallett to keep the extension on track! Learn more at  Endorsed by East Bay Times and San Francisco Chronicle.

(Map image for illustrative purposes only.  Alternative alignment shown in video "Progress B.")

— October 27, 2016 Mallett For BART 2016

At BART, every dollar spent on nonessential agendas is a dollar less for making the system safer, cleaner, and more reliable for BART riders. Re-elect BART Director Zakhary Mallett. Learn more at  Endorsed by East Bay Times and San Francisco Chronicle.

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