The Water Cooler – Eating, Drinking & Smoking on the BART Train

February 27, 2015 12:09 pm · 38 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon.

Today’s question:

Everybody knows you’re not supposed to eat, drink or smoke (anything) while riding on BART. Do you often see people breaking these rules, and if so, what the worst case of disobeying the rules you’ve ever witnessed?

Talk about it….

bleh February 27, 2015 at 12:17 PM

I mean I understand WHY they have those rules. But I eat and drink on bart all the time. Just dont be messy and nobody complains. Clean up after yourself. The worst ive seen is a drunk guy peeing between trains. and smoking, quite a bit. Nobody seemed to complain though.

Anon777 February 27, 2015 at 12:23 PM

I almost never ride so haven’t seen any bad behavior, but I have eaten a granola bar and drank from a water bottle on the train before.

linnie February 27, 2015 at 12:24 PM

8 out of 10 people go into the station, right past the agents, carrying their giant coffee mugs. i don’t care if people are “neat” about it. i don’t want to smell their food or hear their slurping or chewing. i’ve seen people eating burritos, hot dogs, a plate of chinese food… and i’ve seen said plate of chinese food fall to the floor and not get cleaned up. looked like someone had puked.

Always Right February 27, 2015 at 12:52 PM

BART police should be doing more to justify their $200,000 + per year salary and benefits.

Start ticketing the scofflaws who eat, drink, urinate, etc. on BART. The extra revenue will hold back rate increases on the rest of us.

Question: Will a Sargent have to approve the ticket before it is issued?

Concord Guy February 27, 2015 at 12:58 PM

By far the worst thing I have seen on BART was a young couple having sex. It was late at night heading back from SF. There were many people on the car, and most of us moved to the next car. When someone called on the intercom to report it, the train operator laughed and said that he would contact BART PD. The couple got off (no pun intended) at the Oakland 19th Street station without having been contacted by the police.

The 925er February 27, 2015 at 1:03 PM

The worst incident that I saw was a homeless man going full bore on a mango. Started plowing into it with his hands, not even bothering to take the skin off of it. Juice was flying everywhere. Found out that this was just a distraction, and the guy ended up stealing the wallet of the passenger sitting next to him.
Lesson to be learned: Be wary of the mango guy.

@Concord Guy February 27, 2015 at 1:05 PM

I have you beat. I once saw an OLD couple having sex. They must have been in their 80’s, at least. What has been seen cannot be unseen.

Upstanding Citizens February 27, 2015 at 1:06 PM

@ Concord Guy #5

What a lot of bystanders do now is stare act like they are video taping them (or do) and make it super awkward for the offenders – the threat of being put on the internet often scares them into leaving, since being labeled as a sex offender doesn’t.

People have zero decency now.

Mob Barley February 27, 2015 at 1:12 PM

When I rode regularily (1970s and
early 1980s, mostly), I don’t recall
ever seeing anyone eating or drinking.
People were better behaved and more
considerate back then … mainly
because there were fewer of them
and we were just coming off of
the Summer of Love and the Peace
Movement. Lots of men wearing
suits and ties and ladies with
dresses, nylons, and heels.

Mr. John February 27, 2015 at 1:18 PM

I’ve seen dozens of spilled drinks, hundreds of abandoned food items, and a few smokers on trains. Recently, a lot more vaping.

I really wish they’d hire some low end rent a cops that traveled between trains and issued tickets to decrease some of the unchecked annoyances that impact other riders. The majority of the tickets might go unpaid, but there would be enough of them that the minority that do should generate enough revenue to handle the costs…

Silva February 27, 2015 at 1:20 PM

I was the worst offender I ever saw. I once allowed my boy to bring a milkshake on board, and he accidentally dumped it all over a seat. I know. BAD! BAD! BAD!!!

Voodoo February 27, 2015 at 1:27 PM


A homeless person taking a dump / poop / #2 / defecating between train cars!

Cowellian February 27, 2015 at 1:32 PM

Cowellian’s first rule of stupid signs:

For every stupid sign, there was at least one stupid person that made that sign necessary!

Shawn February 27, 2015 at 1:43 PM

I think they need a rule against cutting your nasty fingernails on the train!!!!! That really grinds my gears!!!!! Clean up after yourself and be respectful to other riders! Eat and drink all you want!

thx4youropinion February 27, 2015 at 1:57 PM

1. Put up a phone for passenger complaint to BART Train Op;
2. BART Train Op look at video cam;
3. BART Train Op tell passenger abusing rules over speaker to knock it off and/or contact BART PD.

Incognito February 27, 2015 at 2:06 PM

Rules are made for a reason, and it appears ignored by too many. Just like all those who continue to text and/or talk on their cell phones while driving.

44 ladies that's me February 27, 2015 at 2:34 PM

You know what really grinds my gears. When people use the phrase grinds my gears to describe things that grind their gears.

Johnny Wadd February 27, 2015 at 2:43 PM

Sitting near people who smell and sound like they rocked a deuce in their pants. It is infuriating when people will not give up their seats to Seniors. Young teeny on cell phone playing and frail old person falling over standing. I had long given up seat and I asked her to let the person sit. She said no. People hissing at her shamed her into getting up. I couldn’t believe it.

I know much worse goes on, but this sign of kids today was maddening.

Rider February 27, 2015 at 2:54 PM

Years ago, I saw a woman macking on some KFC and she then threw her bones under the seat. She was pretty drugged out looking so I didn’t say anything.

Now I have the BART app that you can use to alert BART PD without having to go up to the intercom. Haven’t used it yet.

Schmee February 27, 2015 at 3:18 PM

I smoke weed on Bart but only between trains 🙂

Mimi (original) February 27, 2015 at 3:22 PM

Most people don’t think rules apply to them, especially not when they’re hungry, thirsty or simply NEED a smoke! PIGS!

Dorothy February 27, 2015 at 3:34 PM

So this guy and his young son were sitting is the seats for disabled/seniors, right under the no eating/drinking sign, enjoying their sloppy burger with fries and sodas. Meanwhile, there was a pregnant woman and a senior with a cane standing in front of them. This is normal on BART.

The Mamba February 27, 2015 at 3:34 PM

I’ve seen some truly horrible behavior on BART, but specific to the eating and drinking, the worst offender was a Muni driver. She drank a Bud tall boy, crumpled it up and left it on the floor, and then she ate a bag of chips and shoved the bag between the wall and her seat, and then she peeled and ate an orange and just left that on her seat when she got off at her stop. It was unbelievable.

Sick Of It February 27, 2015 at 3:47 PM

I paid my fare I am entitled to do anything I damn well please.

Suit February 27, 2015 at 4:17 PM

Those regulations don’t apply to honest paying riders, just ticket the freeloaders.

Cellophane February 27, 2015 at 4:24 PM

I rode Bart daily for almost 10 years. I saw just about everything, good and bad. But there was this one guy, and I saw him more than once, who would clip his toenails on the train. He wore business attire, looked like a regular business man but decided to take off his shoes and socks and clip his toenails, with clippings flying everywhere, on public transportatinonH. He really didn’t much care if anyone complained. As I recall he said that if he could clip his toenails in his living room he could just as well clip his nails on Bart.

thx4youropinion February 27, 2015 at 4:28 PM

What I’d enjoy seeing is someone(s) YouTube-ing the Pigs of BART.

CSSPAW February 27, 2015 at 5:04 PM

The best part of retirement is not riding BART. Fewer colds, fewer insults to the senses. To bad I can still hear the trains from my backyard on Bailey Rd.

Julio February 27, 2015 at 5:14 PM

Use these highly paid officers to DO something instead of nothing. Officers need to be ON THE TRAINS and ticket everyone breaking the rules. It will remain a lot cleaner and people can enjoy their very high priced ride. Other trains in other cities are better maintained and cheaper to ride.

Grewah February 27, 2015 at 6:10 PM

I have seen BART employees eating on the trains. These are station agent type employees. Hey if the rules don’t apply to BART folks why should it apply to me. Yes I have my travel mug in the side pocket of my backpack and yes I do at times take a sip. Usually when the train is stopped dead because of a “police action” or a “medical emergency”. Which happens at least three times a week

Bert February 27, 2015 at 7:16 PM

If you enjoy eating and drinking where a bum just rubbed one off go ahead. Enjoy

ClaycordRes February 27, 2015 at 7:29 PM

Personally, people bringing their coffee or Jamba juice doesn’t bother me. Most people take their yeah with them. What annoys me are the ones who eat their burger and fries or KFC. It really sinks up the train. BART police is useless and the app they have to report is just dumb. By the time you get them to respond they are gone.

philthyPHRESH February 27, 2015 at 7:32 PM

I think the worst was, I was on the train, drunk black dude was actin out, running into people’s stuff and spitting, we made eye contact as he walked by, I said watup he nodded his head but as me made eye contact he already was slittin. The spit landed on my backpack. I said that was strange. He mumbled something about “sum sum all u suckaz”. Walked into next car. Then came back and told me that wasn’t meant for you, cleaned the spitt off, asked if we good, and proceeded on with his thing. But @25 I feel the same way. I drink coffee daily, sometimes drink a beer, I smoked hash on bart on New Years, and if I’m drunk I’ll smoke on the station.

annoyed February 27, 2015 at 10:43 PM

I don’t understand the lack of ability to construct a proper sentence.

Janet February 28, 2015 at 12:31 AM

When I was 16 I had a man come sit right next to me, pull out his erect penis and proceed to masturbate. I was young and afraid, not knowing what to do. I sat next to the only other man on the train, told him what was going on and asked if he could help me. He shrugged and didn’t get involved. The masturbator eventually exited a few stops down. As an adult I would have handled the situation differently but it was scary as a kid.

If you can't hang with the smell of burgers and fries... March 1, 2015 at 3:51 PM

…how the hell are you going to survive the other smells on the BART train? I call B.S. on anyone pulling that complaint out. We mustn’t ruin the integrity of BART’s natural aroma of B.O and piss? GTF outta here with that!

Bart is dirty March 1, 2015 at 4:08 PM

I was on a Bart train around 8pm in downtown SF and there were just a few people on the train, including an elderly woman and her elementary school aged grandson. Then, this guy boards the train at Powell station and starts smoking crack out of a pipe on the train in front of all of us. I was so furious because he was literally sitting across from the lady and her grandson. I yelled at him to get off of the train or I was going to call the cops. He was shocked that I said something and got off at the next stop. I couldn’t believe that he was surprised that someone would tell him to stop.

The Mamba March 2, 2015 at 9:02 AM

#34 you are the problem.

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