SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The number of incidents on trains involving the BART Police Department has declined more than 60% since May, according to data cited by the transit agency Tuesday. The drop, which BART calls “dramatic,” occurred between May and October.

According to BART:

  • The number of BART PD incidents fell from 374 in May to 295 in October
  • The number of BART trains impacted by BPD incidents declined from 1,144 to 694 from May to October
  • Total train minutes lost due to BPD incidents fell from 9,878 in May to 6,380 in October

The decline in police incidents comes amid a new initiative to improve safety on BART. During that time period, BART changed the schedule to emphasize shorter trains to boost safety, boosted patrols and launched other initiatives.

“These numbers paint a picture of how our commitment to rider safety is paying off,” said BART General Manager Bob Powers. “Fewer delays due to BPD incidents not only shows safety is improving but it helps our on-time performance. This is a win-win for riders as we deliver on our commitment to ensure BART is the safest way to travel around the Bay.”

In March, BART doubled the number of officers on trains as part of its Safe and Clean Plan. BART PD is using traditional sworn officers as well as unarmed “Crisis Intervention Specialists and Transit Ambassadors,” according to BART.

A new schedule launched in September saw BART running shorter, more frequent trains in order to eliminate the number of near-empty train cars.

“The sharp decline in the number of trains being delayed due to BPD incidents is an important indicator that our new safety initiatives are making a difference,” said BART PD Chief Kevin Franklin.

In December, BART plans to introduce new fare gate prototypes at the West Oakland Station. The new gates are designed to be taller and stronger than existing gates in order to deter fare evasion.