BART seeing sharp reduction in incidents delaying train service

Nov. 8, 2023
The number of trains negatively impacted by BART Police Department incidents has fallen by more than 60 percent between May and October.

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is seeing a sharp reduction in the number of incidents delaying train service. According to the agency, from May through October, the number of trains negatively impacted by BART Police Department (BPD) incidents has fallen by more than 60 percent. The dramatic drop comes as BPD has boosted train patrols, the BART schedule was changed to emphasize shorter trains to boost safety and other initiatives outlined in BART’s Safe and Clean Plan have been implemented. 

BART notes the following numbers: 

  • The number of BPD incidents causing delays fell from 374 in May to 295 in October. 
  • The number of trains impacted by BPD incidents declined from 1,144 in May to 694 in October. 
  • Total train minutes lost due to BPD incidents dropped from 9,878 in May to 6,380 in October. 

“These numbers paint a picture of how our commitment to rider safety is paying off,” said BART General Manager Bob Powers. “Fewer delays due to BPD incidents not only shows safety is improving, but it helps our on-time performance. This is a win-win for riders, as we deliver on our commitment to ensure BART is the safest way to travel around the Bay.” 

BPD doubled the number of officers on trains in March as part of BART’s Safe and Clean Plan. BPD is using both traditional sworn officers, as well as unarmed Crisis Intervention Specialists and Transit Ambassadors to boost its visible safety presence in the system. Trains were made even safer in September when BART’s reimagined schedule was launched. The new schedule allowed BART to eliminate near-empty train cars by shortening the least-crowded trains. 

“The sharp decline in the number of trains being delayed due to BPD incidents is an important indicator that our new safety initiatives are making a difference,” said BART Police Chief Kevin Franklin. “We are aggressively moving forward with our officer recruitment campaign and hope to boost our visible presence even more as we work hard to hire more cops.” 

Safety on BART will get another boost in December when the first new fare gate prototypes will be installed at West Oakland Station. BART notes the new gates will be taller and stronger than the ones that have been in place for decades and will deter fare evasion while also improving overall access by relying on high-tech sensors to provide safe access for riders in wheelchairs, as well as those who are using strollers or luggage.