Friday, June 20, 2008

Special coffee mug to trump no beverage rule? Not going to work!

Did you read this article??? BART actually believes people will run out to buy these special mugs to drink their coffees and teas on the trains? They must not ride BART enough if they honestly think that. People bring in drinks of all types, in all containers. I've even seen a normal mug (open top) being brought in and then spilled everywhere. Most bring in paper cups from Starbucks or Peet's. Plenty bring in soda cans or plastic bottles. Once I saw someone pouring a pot of coffee into a Dixie cup.

If BART wants to seriously enforce the no beverage/no food policy, then by all means, suck it up, ASSIGN ONE PATROLLER IN EVERY TRAIN FOR A FEW WEEKS IN A ROW JUST TO TICKET VIOLATORS!!! People are not going to change their habits unless they pay a price and they certainly will not be changing the "cup" they drink from. If BART actually thinks they will make more money from selling these special mugs, I think they do not know their passengers well enough.

People need to just learn to either get up 10 minutes earlier and have your coffee early, or just wait until you get to your destination. There are plenty of Starbucks, Peet's, Seattle's Best really can't wait until then to get your caffeine fix? Then, eat caffeine pills on the train then!

I've personally seen coffee spilled on trains too many times-- "magic" cup or not, the coffee will spill one way or another. Please, BART, spend your time brainstorming on other ideas to improve the system!


Anonymous said...

DUmb idea. Won't get used. plenty of other ways to make BART better.

Anonymous said...

What BART needs is a hybrid enforcement officer - a position that is in between sworn officer and community service agent. These enforcement officers would be like the fare enforcement officers on ACE -

For the cost of a sworn officer, BART could hire two enforcement officers, and have them either at every station, or on every train. Minimizing the petty crime would minimize the major crime. And, a string of citations would allow BART to ban the major troublemakers.

Anonymous said...

worthless. unbelievable that a BART director would try and promote this. what a dysfunctional organization.

on top of this, you have BART train operators who think the BART train is their personal vehicle and that patrons are lucky to be riding on their train.

BART needs to start screening their new hires more carefully.

SongMonk said...

I've always been curious why CalTrain allows food and drink but BART does not. Are the circumstances that different between the two, or is one of the two making a mistake?

SongMonk said...

I'm making a separate comment here b/c it's a separate topic.

I've been reading your blog for a few months now, and I can tell that patrons bringing food and drink on the trains is a source of great aggravation to you. Something is not clear to me, and so I will ask:

Which of the following things (could be more than one) is the biggest reason for your displeasure: 1) People bringing food and drink on board can create hazards to others, and can create messes which inconveniences others and is expensive to clean up, 2) people are violating the rules, 3) BART says that food and drink are not permitted, but they do little to prevent it -- they should either enforce their rules or they should allow food and drink so that law abiders aren't the only ones who are deprived.

bartmusings said...

SongMonk, thanks for the question. I hope I don't come across as some totally inflexible person. I really am much more pleasant of a person than I come across when I complain about BART! :)

To tell you the truth, it's a bit of all three. I've had people spill drinks (coffee and punch) on me before, staining my khakis. I also don't like smelling another passenger's breakfast burrito or egg mcmuffin while on BART. And finally, we're all adults (well, some of us at least) and if it says no food or drinks, just abide by it. I'm hungry and thirsty on BART too, but the worst I do, is pop in a piece of gum into my mouth.

I'm more bothered by those who blatantly dismiss rules and do not have any courtesy for others around them. It's a sense of responsibility and community-- we all need to do our part to try to keep BART pleasant. BART, of course, could really do a TON MORE to keep the trains clean, or enforce the rules!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

When does the special tray that attaches to the seat going to come out? That one that will keep my burger and fries from going everywhere while I ride and eat. And I hope it's so special it will take up more space and make BART even more "convenient" that it already is.........THE PRIORITIES OF THIS SYSTEM ARE EFFD UP. BART needs to make it self some special balls.

Anonymous said...

What other suggestions, outside of hiring more police or enforcement officers, do you have to improve the "EFFD UP" system?

Since new cars are not a reality (for now), the refurbishing of the current rolling stock is an improvement over the carpeted car.

New stations are on the horizon with West Dublin, as well a new parking structures at Dublin and Pleasant Hill. Don't forget about the extension to Warm Springs.

I fail to see the EFFD Up-ness of the system. Oh, wait I forgot, BART is doing nothing to get those displaced riders from Bay Fair to Fremont back on trains that are running at full speed.

Like ANY form of public transportation there are problems and there are priorities, as well as politics to get in the way. Let's hear YOUR suggestions.

As for the cup, I do agree they are silly, but if police enforcement is not the answer, might as well TRY some solution, even if the bimbo in the video screwed it up.

Anonymous said...

I have been riding BART for 10 years now. I know it appears that people on this blog complain a lot about BART. But, overall I am satisfied with BART (the cars are much more cleaner than they used to be). But, I always say that security could be much more improved. oh, about the coffee mug idea, some politicians just like putting on a dog and pony show, they just do not get it. I wonder how often the BART Directors take BART to work? I bet most drive.

Anonymous said...

Warm Springs Extension? did I hear this correctly? has it been funded? when will it be completed and open for business? it will sure make my commute to San Jose that much easier!

Anonymous said...

Other ways that BART might as well TRY ... besides the silly cup. For anonymous that sees nothing wrong with this system.

Wow you must have nothing else to compare this system if you don't see how archaic and unorganized it is. BART may be better than nothing (yes I am a bit thankful that it exists), but there are systems around the world that are more efficient and seem to be managed better than this.

Grand Suggestions:

1) Unify the system with other transport. One electronic/chipped/magnetic card for it all. (Yes I am aware of the fast pass and the Bart plus, but it could be better. Take a cue from the Parisian or Japanese system.)

2) Additional parking at some stations to accommodate the growing number of riders. And with gas going up the amount of riders will only increase.

3) Bike racks on the train.

4) Luggage racks on the train to SFO.

Some realistic suggestions:

1) Screens at the upper/lower Entry levels of the stations listing what train is at the platforms and next 3-4 trains that will be arriving.

2) More hanging straps for those that can't reach the bars.

3) And additional bar centered in the open space upon entering the cars.

4) Longer hours on Fridays and Saturdays. I know plenty of riders that would love this.

5) Or how about just some basics? Doors that open!

BART is beneficial, but it also needs to get with the times. Satisfying the childish wants of those poor passengers that need their coffee fix should not be a priority for this system. The governing body shouldn’t even be contemplating the idea and just stick to the rules it’s created. And yes they should hire additional enforcement.

Anonymous said...

Any additional enforcement will be a waste if they do not ever take any actual enforcement action. Anonymous 11:54 AM has it right --- the enforcement action or inaction set the tone and send a message. BART's enforcement message to date seems to be that they don't care much about really enforcing the rules and making BART a clean, safe and secure transit system.

SongMonk said...


I am an infrequent rider both of BART and CalTrain. Doubtlessly I am having a different experience because I don't ride during commute hours. Your trains are a lot more crowded, and probably have a lot more people eating their breakfast or drinking their morning coffee.

I think I am more annoyed by people flouting the rules than by the actual presence of food and drink. (But I've never been spilled on or been standing six inches from someone chowing down.)