Twice last week I boarded a BART train straight out of the service yard to find people who’d obviously spent the night on the train already there. This is a train that I’ve watched leave the service yard and pull into the first station on it’s run, so there’s no question about whether or not they entered at an earlier stop. These are people who spent at least some time in the service yard.
On the 22nd I twittered about it, including a tweet to @sfbart directly. The person behind @sfbart sent me a direct message that included a customer service link, and asked me to contact customer service directly because they track things like this. I did, that very day. It was short but very detailed about what I saw, including dates and times, as well as the train operators reactions (I ride in the same car as the train operator). Today, eight days later, I got a response saying that everyone with a ticket can ride the train. There was no mention of people riding trains in and out of the service yard, and it even went as far as suggesting that they boarded at the start of service despite the fact I was very clear that I board at the start of service.
Here’s the message that a Mr. Michael J Moran sent me:
Mr. Coburn, As long as anyone has a valid ticket they can ride the system and there isn’t any law against sleeping on a train. Chances are they boarded the train at the beginning of service, not slept there all night. Passengers can also take an excursion on BART for the fare of $5.20 and ride the system for up to three hours entering and exiting at the station.
Last year his base pay was $83,826 (he brought home $95,635 with overtime last year), and he didn’t even read what I wrote. That is wrong, and I’m horrified that it’s allowed to continue.
Oh, and there was a homeless person asleep on the train when I boarded this morning.