Will BART’s latest effort make stations safer?
Photo: Gabrielle Lurie / The Chronicle
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People behaving badly on BART will have an increasingly difficult time getting away with their misdeeds starting this week, transit police hope.
BART police officers and fare inspectors will begin working extra hours — even adding an additional day to their work week — to “bolster their visible presence and enhance public safety,” the transit agency said in a Monday press release prompted by queries from The Chronicle.
The increased presence of officers and inspectors comes in response to riders’ safety concerns, BART said, with the objective being “to move illegal and rule violation activities off the trains and out of stations while deterring criminal activity.”
Guidelines for the temporary program come from the General Manager’s Safety and Security Action Plan, which was implemented in August to outline “the periodic use of mandatory overtime” as well as “the deployment of BART employees … wearing high-visibility vests to provide an additional layer of presence in the system.”
The plan will be in place “for the time being,” BART said. The agency did not provide a more specific timeline.
“We are taking concrete action in direct response to the concerns of our riders,” said BART General Manager Grace Crunican in a statement. “Our riders want to see more employees on the trains and platforms and at the fare gates. This plan lets us immediately increase employee presence while we work to hire more police officers.”
Crunican plans to propose adding 19 new police officer positions starting the next fiscal year (July 1) to increase station-wide police presence and deter crime. Over the past two years, following an “aggressive recruitment effort,” arrests by BART police have increased by 56 percent.
In recent years, the transit agency has also worked to crack down on fare evaders, enhance its homeless outreach services and to secure grant funds to expand its elevator attendant programs.
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This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/BART-intensifies-crackdown-fare-evaders-crime-13751073.php.