BART allowed to ban panhandling on trains and platforms, research concludes

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A study concludes BART can legally restrict panhandling on BART property

This comes as the transit agency considers imposing a new ordinance that would ban any solicitation of money inside trains, on platforms and in the stations

Showing off dance moves then asking for money on BART trains may soon be a thing of the past, if the ordinance is put in place.

“The biggest complaint that I hear is that people are uncomfortable because on a train they are in a confined space and there is nowhere for them to go,” said Debora Allen, member of BART’s board of directors. 

Complaints from passengers prompted bart research that has recently concluded that the transit agency can legally restrict panhandling on bart property. 

“Everything inside of the paid fare gate area, inside the stations, the platforms, the trains, that isE considered a non-public forum,” she said. 

Two-time Grammy award winning Oakland artist Fantastic Negrito says he is concerned that outlawing performers on BART property could deprive the world of the next great artist from in the Bay Area.

“I played every day for about a year and a half at Powell, at Embarcadero, at Lake Merritt, at West Oakland,” he said. “I really sincerely don’t believe that there would be a Fantastic Negrito if I didn’t have the opportunity to go and play at BART.”

However Allen says a potential new ordinance could prevent any panhandling cash from exchanging hands on bart property whether you’re performing or not

“It isn’t about Debora Allen hating performers. I actually love the arts,” Allen said. 

As far as dancers on BART who aren’t asking for money?

“If you’re not breaking any other rules like the loud music ordinance, if you’re not creating an unsafe condition, it would not fall within this ordinance,” Allen said. 

The results of the panhandling research will be presented to the full board of directors on Thursday.

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