BART to Step Up Enforcement of Sleeping, Lying in Stations

July 22, 2014 9:00 am · 34 comments


BART is warning the Bay Area’s homeless population that stricter enforcement started today to stop people from sleeping and lying down in BART station corridors.

Saying that having people lying or sleeping in the stations could impede speedy evacuation, BART police started the campaign with increased enforcement at the Powell Street BART station this morning.

The campaign is intended to bring the stations into compliance with California law requiring that stations have to be able to evacuate safely in four to six minutes, according to BART.

State and local law prohibits blocking the free movement of another person in underground stations by lying down, according to BART.

BART spokesman Jim Allison said today that police started the enforcement measures at Powell Street at about 4 a.m. and that they reported this afternoon it had been going “very well.”

The enforcement will mainly focus on the Powell Street station for the moment but will expand out to other stations in time.

According to BART, the first infraction will provoke a verbal warning and a citation with no fine. The second will come with another citation with no fine, but the third will include a summons for a court appearance and potentially an arrest or fine.

Representatives from the veterans’ assistance group Swords to Plowshares accompanied BART officers making the rounds in stations today, BART said.

“This enforcement is in addition to our ongoing efforts to assist individuals who need help to get the services they need,” BART police Chief Kenton Rainey said in a statement.

Grob July 22, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Good, I would be happy to see the bart stations free from the homeless scum. Just the other day, my girlfriend was coming home from Bart and a homeless guy tried to touch her ass.

Homeless people are failures at life and should be eradicated like insects. Except military veterans, state and fed gov should be taking care of them better.

Mr. John July 22, 2014 at 10:07 AM

They need to make sure they are not hopping on trains and sleeping there, too. There are a bunch of folks that hop gates, get on trains and go to sleep… and many of them stink. We need to get these people on a better path.

Lying July 22, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Glad to see the use of the word “lying” rather than “laying.” If anything is “laying” anywhere, it is probably a chicken.

The Mamba July 22, 2014 at 10:14 AM

I’d like to see more enforcement of keeping the homeless from laying across two seats and sleeping during rush hour.

Marianne July 22, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Mr. John, there are many resources for those people, but many choose not to get help. I detest having to ride with a degenerate sleeping next to me while I’m on my way to work in the morning. Hopefully they will be able to do something about it.

anon July 22, 2014 at 10:33 AM

How long will this last?

Marissa July 22, 2014 at 10:35 AM

Phonetics is something else when used properly. 🙂

no handle July 22, 2014 at 10:50 AM

BART will be issuing steel toe boots to all officers.

Vindex July 22, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Wow, citation, that’s going to work. Or a court appearance, how does this help the problem?

CONCORD SANDY July 22, 2014 at 11:14 AM

What should work is some of the lazy Bart workers actually doing something when they see people “avoid” paying. My husband witnessed one particular worker reading a magazine almost every time she was on duty and ignoring those who didn’t bother with a card!

funny man July 22, 2014 at 11:33 AM

hukd uhn fonicks werkd foh mi!

this wont last, and the trains will still reak like urine

Pyrrhus July 22, 2014 at 11:41 AM

As a San Franciscan, I am for this. As a city, we are very tolerant towards the Homeless. However, it has become a health hazard at the BART stations. San Francisco’s number one economy is tourism. Having tourists and commuters deal with the all the piss and poo isn’t right. Mental services is what is really needed to deal with the homeless population in San Francisco.

Are some just lazy drunkards? Sure. However, many of them have mental or drug addictions. Getting them the help they need is the challenging part. I’m not really well read on the topic, but I recall the Danish implementing some plan that reduced their homelessness.

Anne Moss July 22, 2014 at 11:42 AM

The stations is a good start – but cutting down on sleeping in the trains (especially during commute hours) would make a bigger difference. They come in with giant sharping carts piled up with bags of junk (why does security even let people wheel that in?!) and then take up a huge section of the train sleeping on the seats and filling it up with their smelly shopping carts.

green July 22, 2014 at 11:55 AM

#6 @Marissa:

“Phonetics” has nothing to do with it. In this case, we’re actually dealing with word selection.

I hate it when people say something like “he was laying in bed”.

lie – lay – lain
lay – laid – laid

green July 22, 2014 at 12:00 PM

I also hate it when people say:

“I am well”

No, you are “good”, not “well”.


“You speak funny”.

No, you speak “funnily”.


“funny enough”.

No, “funnily” enough.


“Woe is me”.

No, woe is “I”.

Jtkatec July 22, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Continuing my course of being\ insenstive to my fellow human being…. Hallelujah!!!

@13 (and off-topic) July 22, 2014 at 12:51 PM

“I am well” means I am physically well.
“I am doing well” means my life is going well.
“I am good” means I am a good (rather than bad) person.
“I am doing good” means that (like Mother Teresa) I am doing “good” things for others.

Elwood July 22, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Finally, something BART police might be able to do.

Will they have to call a sergeant to approve rousting the bums?

PhilthyPHRESH July 22, 2014 at 1:33 PM

LOL they better, because the new trains are going to ish in about a week the way things are now.

anonomous July 22, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Sad we have to teach people to be courteous normal members of society. Can we get this to happen on the dam buses also.? Feet don’t belong on the seat and if you didn’t pay for an extra one move your stuff rude inconsiderate low life’s thanks for having No manners or decent behavior your family’s be proud

See Jane July 22, 2014 at 5:17 PM


If you are going to nitpick, you really should learn that punctuation always goes in between quotation marks, except if you live in the UK, or in certain situations involving question marks. To emphasize a mistake, or if you were submitting your comment to a professional publication rather than a public blog, you should type the mistake and follow it with [sic]. To emphasize the proper usage, which is hardly necessary, you could underline or italicize.

John H. July 22, 2014 at 6:17 PM

You mean that BART cops will actually be doing their jobs instead of being nowhere to be found … and not doing any work whatsoever?

Atticus Thraxx July 22, 2014 at 7:36 PM

Uberprfuen Sie meine grammatik; Sie aus dem Arsch reden.

Anon July 22, 2014 at 7:55 PM

Forget about cars being broken into or people being assaulted, let’s go after sleepers… Why, because we are cowards.

PO'd July 22, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Goodbye moving urinals, hello porta-potties on Market St. Remember, you can’t solve the problem on BART, you can only move it somewhere else.
Took ’em long enough-remember poop clogging up the escalators? The entire city of San Francisco needs to be steam cleaned, and some streets need to be tiled (with a drain, of course).

green July 22, 2014 at 10:09 PM

@21 see jane

sorry i’ll do as i please as i have license to use quotes in the way i determine, being smarter than 99.9% of the world.

Dr. Jellyfinger® July 22, 2014 at 10:44 PM

How can you tell if they’re lying? Will they be using a Polygraph?

@27 July 23, 2014 at 7:45 AM

How can you tell if they’re laying? Did you find eggs?

anon July 23, 2014 at 7:58 AM

“They come in with giant sharping carts piled up with bags of junk (why does security even let people wheel that in?!)”

Those shopping carts are stolen — deal with that reality
The people in the booth are not cops

Col July 23, 2014 at 8:15 AM

As an SF resident, having to deal with panhandlers is basically as simple as saying no, or ignoring them, but it starts to get really old after a while.It’s not really the sleepers that are a nuisance, it’s the ones that walk up to you when you’re trying to buy a ticket, and try to sell you a ticket that they probably found on the ground. Or the constant panhandling on the platform(Civic Center station is notorious of both of these)and the ones that reek like booze and not showering for a month that walk through the entire train begging one person after another to spare some change. Powell and Montgomery station should be the least of their worries. They’re like Disneyland compared to some of the other stations. The only way to completely solve the problem is to kick them all out of the station.

Let's Go Oakland July 23, 2014 at 8:42 AM

How about we start enforcing rules that are clearly posted.


At any moment of every day, if you walk the entire train, you’ll see at least someone sitting their shoving food in their fat face and stinking up the train. I’ve never seen anyone ticketted or even warned. Also everyday someone is too good for headphones and plays music that would probably sound better if it weren’t coming out a freaking phone. Again, neither warnings nor tickets are ever issued.

Now, should I decide to light a cigarette, HOLY FLICKING SPIT!! STOP THE TRAIN!!! Of course I never would subject other passengers to this, but no one would tolerate that for a second. So why do we tolerate the rest?

Pyrrhus July 23, 2014 at 8:45 AM

@Col I take the N to Civic Center and I can attest that Civic Center smells like a sewer. The floor of the platform is permanently stained yellow and the amount of garbage is horrible. Maybe I should think about getting on at Powell instead.

Miss Manners July 23, 2014 at 8:55 AM

If you absolutely must pass gas, please do so in the small chambered space between the rail cars. Innocently enter the next rail car remembering to keep eyes looking up above as you whistle and walk briskly out of the area.

PhilthyPHRESH July 23, 2014 at 9:55 AM

I love the first class bed corners on the 530am to 830am trains. Swear these dope fiends stayed up all night and sleep like it’s not 50 people packed into a car.

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