Tuesday, August 21, 2018


by Bob Walsh

Regular readers will remember I have written about BART a few times of late. BART is the Bay Area Rapid Transit District and they have some problems.

One of them is major losses to fare evaders. A crippled 90-year old could jump the fare gates. Fare avoidance costs over $10 million a year, but changing out the far gates is both difficult and expensive. Doing it would, however, not only help recover much of the lost fares but would also cut down on the number of aggressive panhandlers, public poopers, democrats and other assorted undesirables that loiter there.

In addition they have made another marvelous discovery. You loose riders if they don't feel safe. It isn't too bad during peak hours when there are lots of people, lots of witnesses and a fair number of cops around. However during nights and weekends the rider ship is off considerably. Rider polling data leads to the inescapable conclusion that if people are afraid they will be robbed, murdered or just plain harassed they will tend to stay away. Who would have figured that could happen?

Last fiscal year ridership was down 120.5 million trips over the previous year. That is a lot of lost revenue. Pretty much all of that loss is off-peak. Currently there is about one officer for every 2 or 3 stations over the 48 station system.

BART riders are favorite victims for cell phone snatchers and parking lot car burglaries.

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