BART seeks power to ban targeted individuals


Legislation currently before California Governor Jerry Brown would allow Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) to ban passengers who have been convicted of a crime committed while on BART property. Written into a renewal of legislation for existing transit rules in the Sacramento area, the bill being considered by Governor Brown, AB 716, would make it an infraction to return to BART stations or use the regional transit system for up to one year.

“BART seeks whatever legal solutions we can to keep our passengers safe. There are dangerous people who are attracted to these public places. For example, we had a stabbing at the gates of Balboa station on the 8th of September,” BART spokesperson Luna Salaver told the Guardian. “This is something that BART can use as a tool.”

BART denied any connection between the wave of recent protests and the addition of BART to the bill renewal of AB 716. The BART Board of Directors began pursuing their inclusion into the legislation this spring, and addressed the issue at its June 9 board meeting -- before frequent protests began over the July 3 shooting death of Charles Hill by BART police at Civic Center Station.

However, if passed, the resulting ordinance could be applied to protesters, some of whom have been arrested during civil disobedience that has caused rush hour service disruptions of BART's operations, and others who have been arrested in official free speech areas while not directly contributing to a disruption in service.

With some 350,000 people passing through turnstiles each weekday, BART does not believe it can easily prevent everyone who is cited from re-entering BART, but says it will serve as an additional tool if a person is re-encountered by BART police. While a fine of $75 on the first offense may not be enough on its own to act as a deterrent, infractions to the law could be examined as probation or parole violations and subsequent infractions carry heavier fines.

“It would be preferable if these types of conditions were set by a judge as a condition of probation,” said Michael Rifher, staff attorney ACLU of Northern California. “These types of ordinances imposing 'stay away' orders without judicial oversight are an area that is very open to abuse.”

Specifics on how the new law would be enforced are not in place yet, and will be developed by BART if the bill receives Gov. Brown's signature.

“If the bill passes the Governor's desk, BART will still have to go through its own process to implement it as an ordinance,” said Salaver. “This is something BART can uses as a tool but it will not likely be invoked automatically.”

Rifher says the underlying legislation does go further to protect free speech and the rights of the disabled than many examples of “stay away” legislation. For example, according to the text of the legislation, someone banned from riding BART or entering the station would still be allowed to “engage in activities that are protected under the laws of the United States or of California, including, but not limited to, picketing, demonstrating, or distributing handbills.”

In discussing the process of implementing an ordinance, BART said it would invite people from the disabled community, who may have special concerns about the formation of BART's policy, to participate.

Sources familiar with the bill say it is unclear whether Governor Brown plans to sign the legislation.


have previously broken laws, or otherwise behaved badly, on their premises. People have been banned from bars, stores, malls, football games and so on. I'm actually surprised they'd need a law to enact this; I'd have assumed they already have such powers.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 23, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

Not surprising, since you are clearly a jackboot licking wimp who fantasizes about punishment for those bolder than yourself.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 23, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

This troll does nothing but attack the poster on a personal basis. Ban the troll.

Posted by Right on Sister Snapples on Sep. 23, 2011 @ 9:08 pm

"Next shit-fer-brains?"
Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Nov. 16, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

Tiny Peskin can't get another job.
He needs to return to sucking on the taxpayer's tit...his wife's NIMBY organization can't even pay its own bills
Posted by Right on Sister Snapples on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

Go renew your nursing license Florence
Don't nobody need that shit up in here.
Posted by Right on Sister Snapples on Sep. 23, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2011 @ 8:07 am

civil rights if you commit crimes. You think prison isn't an allowable infringement of your normal civil rights?

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 24, 2011 @ 8:18 am

Which part of the Constitution is that?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2011 @ 10:25 am

civil rights being taken away if you commit a crime. Like your freedom, for instance. Rob a bank and you'll find the Constitution won't prevent you being locked away.

Civil rights can be justifiably removed, for cause.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 24, 2011 @ 10:42 am

Unfortunately for you, PaulT, bars, stores, malls, and football games happen to be private property. BART, last time I looked, happened to be a public transportation system. When was the last time you heard of convicted criminals being banned from municipal buses and such like by law?

Posted by Peter on Sep. 26, 2011 @ 11:44 am

As I said, when you commit a crime, you lose some of your civil rights. Try yelling at a Judge from the viewing gallery at a trial and you will be thrown out of the courtroom.

Make a noise and you'll get thrown out of a library.

Kids get thrown out of schools all the time.

Wanna make fun of the airport security guy and get taken off a flight.

Yet they're all public places.

The fact that it's a public entity doesn't help you if you commit a crime.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 26, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

None of your examples are of an ongoing ban.
Of course you can be kicked off BART for disruptive behavior.
Just not BANNED from it.

Your complete lack of respect for, or appreciation of your Constitutional Rights is pathetic.
You are a pathetic example of a failed American.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 26, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

When you commit a crime, you may lose some of those "freedoms" that you think you have. You don't have the "freedom" or the "right" to commit crimes without the risk of infractions of your civil rights.

You misapply the Constitution because you fail to understand it.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 26, 2011 @ 6:02 pm

re: some of whom have been arrested during civil disobedience that has caused rush hour service disruptions of BART's operations

No protesters have been arrested for civil disobedience. Train service was deliberately delayed on April 8th, 2010 and July 11th, 2011. There were no arrests at those protests.

BART has however arrested 5 people for speaking out within paid areas, a 6th for unknown reasons other than holding a bullhorn in a non-paid area, and -- you got it right -- "others" who were arrested en masse in BART's supposed free speech area.

Protesters have done nothing but speak out, chant, and hold signs since August 15th. It has been BART that has chosen to close stations throughout the month of August rather than face dissent within its stations.

Posted by BARTwatch correction department on Sep. 23, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

that shot and killed Oscar Grant and Charles Hill. I'm sure everyone will feel a lot safer.

And PaulT, banning someone from a bar won't prevent them from getting to work on time.

Posted by Police State on Sep. 23, 2011 @ 7:27 pm

Suppose a working-class bay area resident is arrested and convicted of stealing or assaulting on bart premises. After release from jail, how are they supposed to get their life back together if they can't ride bart? Would something like this ever fly for the NYC subway? This is a destructive and cynical move for political pandering!

Posted by michael n. escobar on Sep. 23, 2011 @ 8:22 pm

committing a crime. For instance, in many States, felons cannot vote. They will find it harder to get a job, borrow money or obtain insurance. Moreover, restraining orders, parole or probation requirements can limit their movements and locations for many years

If it's a sex crime, it's way worse than that.

The idea of such retributive consequences is to deter people from criminal acts, and to prevent their reoccurence. That's not a difficult bar for most reasonable people.

There are buses in the East Bay.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

I think owning a gun doesn't make you a killer; it makes you a smart American.
You can't always believe that there will never be anarchy.

Posted by Jerry Jarvis on Sep. 24, 2011 @ 8:24 pm

You are losing!

Posted by Guest on Sep. 25, 2011 @ 1:31 am

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