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BART Records Reveal Racial Disparities In Fare Evasion Enforcement

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John Martinez Pavliga
/
Flickr / Creative Commons

 

A public records request has confirmed stark racial disparities in BART fare evasion enforcement.

 

 

Black Bay Area residents make up about ten percent of BART riders. But according to newly released data, black travellers receive nearly half of fare evasion citations.

 

This confirms a trend shown in a smaller subset of data released last year. The new data was obtained and analyzed by San Francisco-based software designer Chris Arvin.

 

The disparity is even more dramatic when it comes to young people. Over a year, BART issued about fifteen hundred citations to teenagers. The overwhelming majority of those teenagers were black or Latino.

 

BART has recently hired more fare inspectors and an unprecedented number of new police officers. That’s likely to mean more citations for fare evasion, and a continuation of any existing disparities.

Ozzy Llinas Goodman is a freelance writer and journalist based in Berkeley. Their reporting interests include the uses and policing of public space, underground communities and solidarity economies, and other topics related to human movement, urban space, and civil rights.