Chronicle's Rachel Gordon wrote an article today titled, "More food options at BART stations, but high fines await snackers inside the gates".
BART Police Chief Gary Gee discusses that consuming food or beverage within any "paid areas" will lead to penalties of up to a $250 fine and 48 hours of community service. He says, "BART police officers will ticket riders who eat or drink in the paid area, which we define as the places where you need a ticket, such as inside the fare gates of a station, on platforms or on any train," BART Police Chief Gary Gee said today. Those who defy the ban could be cited for an infraction and face penalties of up to a $250 fine and 48 hours of community service.
No one cares about these fines because everyday I see people eating or drinking something! No one will take these warnings seriously until they've received a ticket or have seen someone getting one...and that just won't happen unless BART is more serious about enforcing this rule.
I've raised this before but only to attract criticisms from people who feel that enforcing food/beverage rule is insignificant compared to crimes! Duh.....of course it is insignificant! And I do not want to take time away from those BART cops that are working hard at ensuring security and safety in the parking lots, stations, platforms, and train!! Of course not!
But here's the thing....are they all busy at all times? Why are there 4 or 5 BART police officers chatting with each other in front of the Civic Center Station florist on ticketing level? Or 10 officers after a Warriors or A's game (I understand the need in that area) but a lot of the "unsafe situations" actually happen inside the trains after these games where people are intoxicated! I'm sure they are discussing important BART security issues while they are together but are there really that few resources that have time to walk up and down random trains for enforce rules?
Maybe BART should hire Scouts from high school who can help ticket part time? It could be part of their service. Just kidding...I don't know. But all I know is...just telling people there will be fines is not going to do you any good! People continue to bring in their coffee, bagles, croissants, breakfast bars, breakfast burritos (the worst!), pizza, sandwiches, hotdogs, thai leftovers, cake from the office, king size candy bars, leftover food from ballbarks, and ice cream cones on BART.
By the way, everything I just listed, I've seen being eaten on the trains. I've told people before that they are violating the rules, especially coffee drinkers who come awfully close to spilling on me, but they ultimately don't care!! I
t's a daily habit for them, and to have it be broken, something REAL needs to happen.