According to the BART Director Debora Allen she wants to stop panhandling on trains and limit it to a safe zone outside the terminals. However, liberals are already trying to block her. She will ask directors at today’s board meeting to put it on the agenda for a future meeting. She also wants to prohibit busking. Busking is playing music and dancing for money.
“People tell me they just want to be left alone on the train. They don’t want to be forced in a confined space to listen to someone else’s music. They don’t want to be forced to watch dancers. They don’t want to be forced to watch panhandlers walk up and down the train and ask people for money individually,” Allen said as she headed in to today’s meeting in Oakland.
She knows she will face a lot of opposition. Bart board president Bevan Dufty is against it. The ACLU questions whether it is constitutional. She thinks they can work through the issues.
“I’ve done some preliminary research that would indicate that within a paid area BART has a right to have its own ordinances. We already have ordinances that prohibit loud music, smoking, eating, drinking and we can add panhandling to that,” Allen said.
Bums and junkies on the trains know how to avoid paying for the fare. Further, they present a safety problem for the regular BART passengers.
BART is not a homeless shelter, it’s public transit and they have rules and standards to provide for safe passage. But, the bums and junkies are taking over to the degree that many seniors no longer ride BART for fear of encountering a crazy or a junky looking for drug money.
It’s getting out of control. BART passengers, some with children, have been subjected to walking over human urine and stepping around feces. At times riders encounter deviant public sex acts. BART tries to keep the cars clean, but they are having trouble staying ahead of the harassment, filth and vandalism caused by the so-called homeless who use the BART cars for a toilet or a place to sleep.