‘A public safety issue’: Crowd of fare evaders hop BART turnstiles

Bay Area

OAKLAND (KRON) – A video showing waves of fare evaders jumping the BART turnstiles following a popular music festival over the weekend has gone viral.

A Twitter user shared the video showing what appears to look like every single person leaving the BART station in Oakland hopping over the turnstiles.

“We could make this a more urgent matter. I think it is a public safety issue at the end of the day,” said Debora Allen with the BART Board of Directors.

This incident comes in the wake of BART approving a design for fare evasion proof tickets gates through the transit system to help prevent an estimated $25 million annual loss in revenue, Allen said.

“We would have barriers that are from the floor to about this high. Definitely couldn’t slide under. Couldn’t jump over very easily,” Allen said. “It’s not just fare gates. It is a comprehensive approach to fare evasion. It is fare gates. It’s swing gates. It’s enclosing elevators. It is police presence as well.”

She says there were 10 officers and two sergeants when the Rolling Loud Music Festival let out at the Coliseum.

Allen explained why the officers initially stood down when the mass of people rushed the fare gates without paying.

“For that many people it is really tough to keep under control. It could have actually have been much worse if our officers had decided to make contact,” she said.

Video of the incident was uploaded to Twitter and ultimately seen by officials at the transit agency.

Allen said she is thankful to see it.

“Without this video I wouldn’t have known that this kind of activity even happens,” Allen said. “I am actually thankful to see live video of these kinds of things. It helps me as a director figure out where we need to target our energy.”

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