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Friday, February 01, 2013    

BART to hold public meetings on new safety law

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) will host a series of community meetings this month to educate the public about a new law that allows agency officials to ban people from the system for committing certain offenses on BART property, or against riders or employees.

Assembly Bill 716 allows BART to issue a "prohibition order" against offenders for 30 days to a year, according to a recent blog posted on BART's website.

For offenses such as defacing public property, the individual must be cited on at least three separate occasions within 90 days to receive a prohibition order. For more serious crimes, such as acts of violence against BART riders or employees, the ban can go into effect after the first offense.

"With this new authority to keep serious and repeat offenders out of the BART system, now the riders and employees of BART will have the same opportunity for safer public transportation," said Assembly Member Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento), the bill's author.

Concern over an increase in violent attacks on BART frontline workers was one factor that prompted the law's passage, according to the blog.

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