BART Police

BART Police (Photo credit: Sipa/USA)

BART Steps Up Police Presence To Fight Fare Evasion

Tim Ryan
April 09, 2019 - 11:53 am

SAN FRANCISCO — BART is stepping up patrols by police once again to tamp down on fare evaders and address concerns about safety throughout the system.

BART police officers and other employees are adding a sixth day to their work week as part of an ongoing effort to increase their presence at BART’s busiest stations in downtown San Francisco. Since August, BART has used mandatory overtime to periodically increase patrols due to an ongoing shortage of police officers.

Half a dozen fare inspectors in bright green vests and five uniformed officers were patrolling the Embarcadero station in on Tuesday morning, handing out citations and warnings to anyone caught trying to enter the system without paying.

Fare evaders cost the system about $40 million every year, according to BART's estimate..

Several riders told KCBS Radio that the increased police presence is needed. The transit system has earned a reputation for lawlessness, from fare jumpers to violent crimes. 

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General Manager Grace Crunican said the extra patrols are a “direct response to the concerns of our riders” while the agency fills dozens of openings within the police department.

Crunican says she will propose hiring 19 more officers in the next fiscal year as part of an ongoing effort to fill a record 41 openings within the police department.

Written by Jessica Yi.