That time Richard Nixon rode BART

BART_Nixon

For whatever reason, and despite the choreographed nature of it, we like when celebrities and politicians (same same?) do the things us normal folks do.

Case in point: That one time in 1972 when President Richard Nixon (a former California senator, you’ll remember) rode the spiffy, shiny, new BART. Muni Diaries Live veteran Peter Hartlaub wrote about Nixon’s visit to the Bay Area recently for the SF Chronicle:

Photos and words from The Chronicle archive show the president, often with his eyes wide and mouth agape, in wonder at all the tech surrounding him.

“You know, it does look like NASA,” said Nixon, as he peered at the electrified route displays in the BART control room.

Nixon arrived in the Bay Area with a surprise $38.1 million in bonus funding for BART, then hopped on a train at San Leandro Station, taking a nine-minute trip to Lake Merritt for a tour of the BART control center.

This reminds me of that one time now-California Governor Jerry Brown was spotted on BART. Just like us, you guys. Just like us.

Speaking of that strange, exotic past when politicians actually paid for public things, BART board member Nick Josefowitz penned an op-ed for the SF Examiner championing a November bond measure that would pump billions of dollars into modernizing the BART system. The post is worth your time—check it out over at the SF Examiner and let us know what you think.

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