Starting Monday, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) riders will have to think twice before using trains or train platforms as public bathrooms, or risk losing the ability to use them at all.
SF Weekly reported on Monday that transit police will now be able to issue “prohibition orders” against repeat offenders. The bans, which can last anywhere from 30 days to 1 year, were passed as part of state Assembly Bill 716 in January 2013, meaning customers found defecating or urinating, or engaging in lewd behavior on BART property, among other offenses, could be banned from using the transit service if cited three times within a 90-day period. More serious infractions like physical assault will lead to a ban after just one instance. The bill also applies to political protesters with multiple arrests.
“We are really wanting to send the message that if you are going to come onto our system and be unruly or violent, there are going to be consequences,” BART spokesperson Alicia Trost told KGO-TV on April 29.
However, some BART customers, perhaps remembering incidents like the fatal police shooting of Oscar Grant on a platform in 2009, said they are leery of the potential for authorities to use the new orders to overstep their bounds.
“Certain instances have happened over the years that have caused some tragic things to happen, but you got to be careful who your profile,” said one rider, Kadmiel McCrory.
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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