BART Doubling Police Presence on Trains
Moving to address concerns about safety and cleanliness on the region’s backbone transit system, BART President Janice Li this week announced publicly that the agency will soon begin doubling police foot patrols on trains and in stations. Concerns about crime, safety and cleanliness have been cited as a key reason riders have not returned to the system. Ridership has hovered at about 40% of pre-pandemic levels, with reduced fare revenue threatening the system with a fiscal cliff that could result in dramatic service reductions and other draconian cost-cutting measures in the next year or two. In addition to the increased police presence, BART has also doubled the cleaning hours on its new trains and is planning to triple staffing on its station cleaning crews.
The Bay Area Council has been working closely with BART on public safety issues and advocating for just the type of increased police presence that was announced this week. In a private briefing Li and BART police leaders gave to the Council last week, she noted that BART would be announcing the increased police presence. The Council is also continuing to advocate for additional state funding to help BART and other public transit systems avoid the fiscal cliff ahead of them while the systems work to bring riders back. To engage in the Council’s transit safety work, please contact Policy Director Laura Hill.