Since I take BART to work, I get in around 9 and leave around 5:30 or so. In the few occasions that I leave during the day, I usually take my car. That said, my recent encounter during a mid-day BART ride was a bit scary, but not surprising, based on what I've heard and read from everyone.
I had to leave work early to take care of family matters. When I arrived at the Civic Center Station (street level), I noticed immediately that the staircase and surrounding area was occupied by at least 40-50 homeless folks. They were up and about, chatting, laughing, throwing things at each other, or screaming profanities at pedestrians or in some cases, no body. It was a little frightening to walk between them, while cautiously trying to not disrupt their game of catch with an empty bottle and another game of soccer with an empty beer can. On the other hand, I now know what homesless people do in the day time! They have fun and socialize.
When I got down to boarding platform, I noticed more homeless people sleeping and saw a few drunks passed out on the floor. I guess it is cooler inside the station than napping outside under the scorching sun. Who can blame them? I just wonder how they got in?
Once the train arrived, they woke up and joined me in the short 4 car train. My car was fairly empty: me, a few culinary school students in uniform, and them. The drunk men walked in and both found their own 4-seater area to sleep on. One of them kicked some old newspaper out of his way, missed, and almost fell down. He then screamed out an assorment of cuss words while kicking the seat in anger. The other drunk man was already back asleep by this time. He was about 2 rows from me, and I could smell the alcohol.
A few homeless folks also were on the train with me. One immediately walked up and down the trains to ask for money. I didn't feel like reaching for my wallet, but he stood in front of me and kept on asking! To get away from his smell, I ended up giving him all my change. The other homeless folks just slept. One stuck his bare feet out in the aisle.....I sure wish I had a pair of socks to give him, for my sake and his.
It was just interesting to me how different the riders are during the day time! How do they get in? Are they going anywhere? Seems like they just hopped on to sleep or ask for money.