Twenty candidates compete for seats on BART, AC Transit boards
Michael Petrelis is a candidate for the BART Board for one of the districts within San Francisco.
The San Francisco Bay Area may be one of the only areas in the US where board members for the transit agency are popularly elected. Boards for both the Bay Area Rapid Transit heavy rail system and the AC Transit system for Alameda County are elected. See "Twenty candidates compete for seats on BART, AC Transit boards," East Bay Times.
By contrast most other areas have boards appointed by other government bodies.
Last year, BART Board Member Zachary Mallett pushed forward an initiative to put board member photos and contact information up in transit stations, as a way for riders to know who they could contact to express their concerns, although some people criticized this as an election promotion mechanism ("BART director wants to display board's photos in cars, stations," SF Chronicle).
Over the years I have suggested that the DC area WMATA transit agency have popularly elected members, and that more cities, including DC< should have Transportation Commissions--although typically such members are appointed. (In the DC area, Arlington County and the City of Rockville have transportation commissions. The City of Tempe in Arizona does also.)
Commenter charlie pointed out that the advantage of appointed members in the DC area is that they are connected to the jurisdictions that provide funding. But if sales or property tax revenues were added to the funding mix for WMATA, then that could change the calculus somewhat.
In Greater Portland, Oregon, there the Council of Governments and the Metropolitan Planning Organization (the transportation planning organization designated by the US DOT for the metropolitan area) were merged into a common body and eventually the positions were shifted to being popularly elected. In Ontario, there are both regional and local governments in some areas, not unlike how in the US there can be county elected governments simultaneous with locally elected governments.