Robert Raburn was elected to the BART Board of Directors on November 2, 2010. Director Raburn represents District 4, which includes most of Oakland, the city of Alameda, and part of San Leandro. It is one of the most diverse districts represented on the BART Board.
Raburn came to the East Bay in 1979 to study transportation and urban geography at UC Berkeley, where he received a doctorate degree. He taught geography and urban planning for a decade at San Jose State University, and on behalf of Hispanic voter groups, served as an expert witness and drew political redistricting plans adopted by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Raburn led the East Bay Bicycle Coalition for much of his involvement with them from 1992 to 2010. His work led to the building of the bike path on the new Eastern Span of the Bay Bridge, and the removal of the “world’s shortest freeway” near Lake Merritt in Oakland.
His work has also influenced regional and state policies on transportation planning and air quality.
For a decade prior to being elected, Raburn chaired Alameda County’s Measure B Citizens Watchdog Committee, ensuring Measure B transportation tax funds were spent as promised to the voters. He helped draft the Measure B expenditure plan that was approved by voters in 2000. Raburn has also helped lead other successful local and regional ballot measures, raising $2.5 million in transportation funds for transit, pedestrian, and bicycle improvements along Fruitvale Avenue and helping to increase bicycle and pedestrian safety near various BART stations. His ideas for Safe Routes to Transit are now part of a region-wide program.
Robert received the Clean Air Champion Award from the Bay Area Air District in 1995, the Stride & Ride Award from the California Bicycle Coalition in 2003, and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Excellent in Motion Award in 2004.
As a staunch believer in community involvement, Raburn enjoys volunteering at Allenwood Elementary and in the Dimond District near his home in Oakland. In his spare time he likes to bicycle tour with his wife Pat.
He speaks Spanish and is an avid bass guitar player.