OAKLAND, Calif. - BART's police chief and board president are expected to address recent crime and arrests on Bay Area trains at a news conference Tuesday.
In a recent survey, it was found that safety concerns have been a major factor impacting BART ridership, which is struggling to return to pre-pandemic levels.
According to BART leaders, the police department reported its highest monthly arrest totals in March and April since the start of the pandemic, with approximately 260 arrests each month.
Some notable arrests include a man accused of assaulting a woman at a fare machine in El Cerrito, another man accused of stomping on a woman's head in Hayward, and a third case of assault on a BART train resulting in the arrest of a man in the parking lot in Dublin.
To address the issue, BART has already deployed up to 18 additional police officers to ride trains with passengers. However, BART riders expressed their desire for even more security measures.
One passenger interviewed stated, "I'm hoping one of these days BART can improve on security. More police on the trains. There's not enough of that. There are people riding those rails all day long, and everybody sees them."
Apart from the recent crimes and arrests, BART police are also investigating a stabbing incident involving one of its custodial workers in San Francisco's Mission District. Additionally, according to the daily police log, officers administered at least one dose of Narcan during a possible overdose in the last week.
BART, along with other transit agencies, has recently appealed to the state for funding to prevent service cuts.
BART Police Chief Kevin Franklin also said they plan to hire more officers, crisis intervention and transit ambassadors.
"It's a terrific place to work," he said. "It's a vibrant agency serving five counties in the Bay Area. We're looking for good candidates right now."