BART picks new head for embattled transit system

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Bay Area Rapid Transit agency directors have selected a former transportation director in Seattle to run its embattled system.

The BART board on Wednesday picked Grace Crunican (Krun-i-can) as general manager. Crunican replaces Dorothy Dugger, who resigned under pressure in April.

The Contra Costa Times (http://bit.ly/oRXsiE ) reports that Crunican has a reputation as a straight-talker who will be able to help BART compete for federal transportation funds since she previously served as a deputy administrator with the Federal Transit Administration.

Crunican spent eight years as Seattle's transportation director. She resigned in 2009 after storms crippled Seattle's public transportation system and sparked criticism that the city was unprepared.

BART has been struggling to restore its public image following fatal police shootings and a global free speech uproar that erupted when the agency shut down cell phone service inside several San Francisco stations to thwart a demonstration.

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Information from: Contra Costa Times, http://www.contracostatimes.com