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Survey Pinpoints What It Will Take to Get Riders Back on BART

If you were a regular BART rider and you’ve avoided riding the system lately, what would it take to encourage you to ride again? That’s the question the Bay Area Council posed during a recent survey.

Safety and cleanliness on BART are the biggest concerns for the community, according to the survey.

The Bay Area Council surveyed 1,000 people from across BART’s service area for its survey.

“Basically, 78% of those that are not currently riding BART said that they would ride BART a lot more often if it was safer and if it was cleaner,” Bay Area Council CEO John Grubb said.

Additionally, 90% of those polled said BART should prioritize cleaning stations and trains, 62% said BART should improve fare gates to prevent fare evaders, and 79% said they feel more comfortable when uniformed police or security is also aboard.

“Right now, nobody is using it,” Oakland resident Pritima Tulachan said. “Half of my friends don’t even want to come to the city or my co-workers because how unsafe it is.”

Tulachan said she feels fine riding during the day, but at night she’s willing to pay more than $30 for a Lyft ride back to Oakland because she doesn’t feel safe on a BART train at those hours.

Francoise Lopez of San Francisco said she always avoids riding in the last couple cars of any BART train because that’s where she says crazy stuff happens. She agrees more safety ambassadors should be on trains.

“Have more of the rules enforced, visual,” Lopez said. “They can make some people maybe act better.”

In a statement, a BART spokesman said the transit agency has already started redeploying more uniformed officers. Between eight and 18 more BART cops are supposed to be riding trains now each day. BART is also adding four train deep cleaning crews.

After years of study, the BART board last month agreed on the design for new fare gates that should cut down on fare jumpers. The plan is to have them all installed by 2026, which could be too late, according to the Bay Area Council.

“We’re calling on them to get those fare gates in in the next 12 months, to act like this is a crisis,” Grubb said. “Because that will bring in more revenue and it will make the system safer.”

Source: NBC Bay Area

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