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Travel Safely Using BART

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) trains provide you with convenient and speedy connections in multiple areas of the San Francisco area. BART trains make trips from the Bay area to Oakland, Berkeley, Fremont, Walnut Creek, Dublin/Pleasanton and many other cities.

BART trains are used by thousands of people on a daily basis. While providing reliable transportation to the masses, BART trains can also pose some serious dangers to its passengers and personal injuries are not uncommon.

A New Law for Increased BART Passenger Safety

After receiving a high number of complaints from BART riders concerning unruly passengers, the transit provider knew it had to make some changes. A new state law, which took effect on May 6, gave BART police officers the power to issue passenger “bans” for anyone that is caught fighting, acting in an unsafe/unruly manner or using the train itself as a substitute bathroom. Thanks to the new law, unsafe riders can now be banned from riding BART trains, entering BART train stations or patronizing BART parking lots for 30 days to one year, depending on the severity of the offense.

BART said that the number one priority for its police officers is to find aggressive riders who pose physical danger to passengers or staff members. The transit provider hopes this law will help to prevent personal injuries among passengers and make BART trains a little safer. BART also said it will ban anyone committing a misdemeanor or felony offense, including assaults, illegal drug transactions and prostitution.

Practicing Safety Precautions

It is important for you, as a BART train passenger, to take an active role in your own safety. You should know about BART safety features, what to do in an emergency and the steps you can take to avoid an injury. While riding on BART, keep the following general safety tips and procedures in mind:

  • Always stay behind the yellow and black platform edge-marking tiles. These tiles are used as a way to keep you from getting too close to the train itself, especially as they are coming into and departing from the station.
  • Never approach a BART train until it comes to a complete and full stop. If a train is still in motion when you approach, there is a chance you could get dragged along with the train or receive severe damage to a limb clipped by the moving train.
  • Never, ever cross the train tracks or make your way onto the trackway. These actions can easily bring deadly consequences, such as being hit by a train. If you happen to drop something on the trackway by accident, do not try to retrieve it on your own. Ask an Agent for assistance.
  • Watch where you are stepping as you board the train. There is a narrow gap between the train platform and the train itself. Failure to watch your step could result in a slip and fall accident.
  • Remember, BART train doors close automatically and, unlike elevator doors, do not reopen when there is an obstruction. Always keep your body and belongings clear of the doors as you enter and exit. Failure to do so can result in a train door closing on and/or crushing a body part.
  • Do not lean against the train doors once inside. The doors could open while you are not paying attention, causing you to fall and injure yourself.
  • Make sure to take a couple minutes and read the emergency procedure signs that are posted inside BART trains. These signs provide you with important information should an emergency occur.
  • Keep your belongings and luggage out of the path of other passengers. Your personal luggage should never block a walkway or a doorway. In an emergency, blocked exits and walkways could prevent passengers from getting out safely.

Since BART trains carry so many passengers and travel a high number of miles each day, the transit carrier is held to a very high safety standard. BART is expected to provide you with a safe environment, employ cautious workers and stick to a strict maintenance schedule. If they fail to meet these expectations and you receive an injury as a result, BART could be held accountable for your personal injury.

If you have suffered a personal injury while riding or waiting for BART, make an appointment with a local San Francisco personal injury lawyer. After a BART accident, you’ll want to work with an advocate who knows how to effectively present your case and get you the compensation you deserve.

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