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BART announces fare evasion study

 A BART train at the Oakland Coliseum Station
Wikimedia Commons
A BART train at the Oakland Coliseum Station

In partnership with the nonprofit Center for Policing Equity, the BART Office of the Independent Police Auditor announced an 18 month study today to examine fare evasions enforcement in the transit system.

Concerning the importance of the study, Independent Police Auditor Russell Bloom says, "So many of BART police contacts involve fare evasion enforcement that it makes sense to take a deep dive into the data so that we can better understand why there are racial disparities in these outcomes."

Bloom’s office and the Center for Policing Equity previously released a report about the BART Police Department’s practices and behaviors in 2021, detailing racial bias in BART PD’s interactions with riders and use of force.

It is not yet clear what recommendations may come out of the new study, but earlier this month, BART officials signed a Notice to Proceed, which authorized the company STraffic to begin work on a 90 million dollar project to replace fare gates throughout the system.

When the transit system first announced the partnership with STraffic, BART News reported that the new gates would reduce fare evasions.

Also today, BART PD announced the two highest monthly arrest totals since the start of the pandemic, following a new deployment strategy that doubled the number of sworn officers on duty beginning in March.

In a statement to BART news, Board President Janice Li praised BART PD’s responsiveness to the safety concerns of riders, who have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels, according to BART’s data.

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