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BART Takes Out the Trash and Threats Too

In an effort to keep customers and employees safe, Bay Area Rapid Transit has removed some garbage cans from stops across the system.

Lt. Kevin Franklin, manager of security programs for BART, said officials removed some of the cans in a post-9/11 response to making the system safer from potential terrorist attacks and finding ways to mitigate risk of someone leaving an explosive device at a station.

“We realized the garbage containers are an area where someone could leave something behind and it could go for a long period of time without being detected,” he said. “So we decided to take the cans out to take out areas where someone could hide an object.”

Garbage cans weren’t the only things eliminated by BART in order to eliminate areas for potential bombs, Franklin said, with the system also closing all of its bathrooms in underground stations. And if there is rumor of a potential terrorist threat, he said BART officials will also take out additional areas or garbage cans where an explosive device could be left behind and harm customers.

Franklin said officials researched the use of clear garbage receptacles instead of removing the garbage cans, however, the cans still don’t expose all the contents in the garbage. He said they also researched blast resistant containers, but removing the containers still was determined to be the best course of action.

There hasn’t been any evidence that shows removing garbage cans has resulted in more garbage on the BART system, Franklin said, which is helped by the fact food and beverage consumption isn’t allowed.

“Cleanliness is definitely something we pay attention to as we want to have a clean system,” Franklin said.

With the elimination of the cans, BART officials said they’ve also worked to educate the public about the changes on the system when they occur.

Luna Salaver, communications officer for BART, said the system has worked to educate riders about safety issues and promoted its campaign alerting customers to report issues at stations or on trains, and educate them via the “Ask BART,” portion if its website where riders can submit questions.

Franklin said BART officials continue to assess the system for safety risks and will continue to make adjustments as needed.

“We take safety and security very serious at BART, “he said.

View the BART video on trash can removal HERE.