BART's violent crime rate up 60% over the last 10 years

Many passengers say they try to be careful about their safety on BART. But it often seems like that's just not enough.

"Recently I've been flashed on BART," said passenger Mia Taylor.

"Some person on drugs, too close to me took my chain off me and ran. Just took my chain and ran," said passenger Shaunice Murphy.

The numbers show that as BART ridership has increased, so has the crime rate.

Violent crime is up two percent over the first six months of this year compared to last year. But it's increased some 60 percent over the past 10 years.

Even before Nia Wilson's heartbreaking and vicious death at the MacArthur Station last week one woman said she's been carrying mace with her when she rides BART.

Because of all the hypodermic needles left on trains taylor says she only wears closed toed shoes on trains.

On social media, someone claiming to be a BART operator issued numerous safety tips, advising against riding BART at night and checking the seats for needles.  

One San Francisco man said he has stopped commuting home on BART at night.

"All this week I haven't been taking BART. I've been Lyft-ing. Scary, even beyond the poor girl," said Jonathan Pak.

"We're concerned as well. We wan to get their confidence back. It is very important to us," said BART Deputy Police Chief Ed Alvarez.

BART police are looking to hire 25 more officers. Until then, police are spread thin often having to leave the platforms to respond to calls in BART parking lots.

"We are looking at our deployment strategies, our patrol strategies. And trying to maximize our visibility and our enforcement," said Alvarez.  

Many riders said they do feel safe.

"BART police does a pretty god job," said Miracle Tatum of Richmond. Others remain on high alert.

"I'm going to continue riding until I can buy a car," said Murphy.

The deputy chief says BART is planning to increase  overtime for officers to keep more police at the BART stations.