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Things To Know About BART
By Jim Kirwan
The Subterranean Section of BART
Runs from Balboa Park through San Francisco to West Oakland
Yesterday ANONYMOUS hacked into 'myBART' and posted the unprotected names passwords and addresses of 2,000 people that are members of BART's own little collection site. Before you get outraged about that attack; you should know some key facts about BART before you condemn the hackers outright.
BART was on the drawing board for thirty-years before they began laying track: Yet they managed to do everything wrong at every step of this venture, from trying to get approvals, to the size of the plots of land they chose to purchase for their right-of-way (Their existing right-of-way is too small to accommodate the number of tracks that they should have begun with) Consequently the system cannot grow without adding more tracks just to meet current needs. On top of this the current technology that runs the entire system is over thirty years old and out-of-date to the point that about a week ago the entire system involuntarily shut down: It took hours to figure out what to do, because there was no backup system to move the stranded passengers from the dead trains. BART needs an entire technological makeover, but BART is of course broke because of what they pay their Board of Governors and their bloated management that basically does nothing except collect salaries and bonuses.
Consequently there are a number of myths that have not actually been understood by the public. Most believe that BART is a part of the public's own transportation system and is owned by the citizens of the nine counties through which it runs: That's not true; despite the fact that the money to build BART came from ballot measures in each of the nine counties where the money came from to build this Albatross.
BART is a wholly owned "federal commuter-system" and is NOT a part of the public transportation system in the nine counties of Northern California. Their web address says it all: www.bart.gov.
As a federal agency BART has never felt the need to explain anything they do to the public, about either their policies or their actions: Because as they say whenever they are seriously challenged; "We're Federal and we don't have to answer your questions." This makes for really great customer relations!
Currently BART refuses to run trains that are not absolutely jammed so that a huge number of people find that to get where they're going they must transfer from train to train several times; which stretches out their journey and takes unnecessary time. That's because the six destination trains that BART began with get reduced to just two direct trains; on nights, weekends and holidays-everyone going to any of the other four destinations must transfer because BART refuses to use those direct-trains that would not require a transfer.
Before 911 BART had restrooms, janitors and station agents in all of the subterranean terminals. After 911: BART closed the subterranean restrooms; removed all the garbage cans on or near the platforms, and sacked the janitorial staff, while they began to eliminate the station agents. The permanent closing of restrooms that supposedly served the traveling public of well over 300,000 a day, consisted of only two commodes in each station, one for men and the other for women.
The restrooms had to be closed and the trash containers had to disappear because of the threat of BOMBS that might be planted in them by TERRORISTS! And of course without restrooms or trash containers there was nothing for Janitors to do so they were fired. Getting rid of the station agents in the subterranean stations took a bit longer but they managed it. These same conditions do not apply to stations in the suburbs where the polite people would never have stood for such treatment. But in the city, the policy remains!
However the restroom facilities that are open to the public are not maintained and as result they are frequently overflowing with human waste: something that the station agents refuse to do very much about, as they are NOT janitors. Enter the public! With interminable public-service propaganda the public is solicited to KEEP BART CLEAN AND SAFE, without mentioning the fact that there are no trash containers for them to use and no restroom facilities for the traveling public to use. There are also no BART Police inside either the trains or the stations (in the subterranean sections of the system). Still the public is exhorted to "call BART POLICE or 911 if they see anything disturbing." ­ again failing to note that BART does not provide easily contacted officers at any specific location, and since there are almost no station agents; most of the built-in booths have been permanently closed so that everything about the passenger's real safety is left up to-the-passenger to make his or her cell-phone call for "HELP!"
The subterranean terminals are far too small to accommodate the normal flow of commuters. (Another Major Design Flaw throughout the system) This is dangerous because in any emergency situation there would no doubt be a stampede to get out of the terminals in which case many would be trampled to death. This situation has been compounded by the fact that half the escalators are always out-of-service and about a third of the elevators are down, or undependable.
At the Civic Center Station where today's confrontation will occur the station platform is three full stories underground. The platform itself is 9 car-lengths long and only about 40 feet wide; with incoming and outgoing train tracks on either side. The last two stories of that trip between the surface and the platform consists of either escalators or stairs inside sealed stairwells (8 ft. wide) and escalators that are only about four feet wide. So when the rush hour traffic comes in both the trains and the platforms are so solidly packed with commuters that the entire platform is filled to bursting (which is the also during the time of today's demonstration).
The BART Board of Director's should be well aware of this safety-problem, but apparently they don't give a damn about what might just happen to passengers because they refuse to apologize to the public for their non-response for the two murders committed by their untrained federal officers for whom they have refused to take responsibility! What will happen today if this situation causes the death or injury of any passengers: Because of the willful negligence of BART's Board of Directors?
Then there is the further obscenity which BART has decidedly made a major effort to enforce, upon some of its customers, but not on others! Signs everywhere announce "NO SMOKING, NO DRINKING, NO EATING; what is also mentioned on the constantly blaring loud speakers is the $250 fine for doing any of any of that. After today BART may want to add NO QUESTIONS ALLOWED and NO SPEAKING ON CELL PHONES will be permitted.
Of course these "regulations" only apply to the poor and obviously unwashed (like the guy that BART police most recently murdered inside the Civic Center Station). When traveling back into the city from the East Bay on "GAME DAYS" the trains with "FANS on-board" are filled with overweight and insultingly rude people on the way to their games. They bring with them whole dinners, booze and fruit drinks and they leave the remains all over the cars: nothing is ever done about these first class assholes because they are SPECIAL. Each car has four built-in cameras, and BART police have to notice what's going on: Yet NOTHING IS EVER DONE ABOUT THESE INSUFFERABLY ARROGANT BASTARDS. Tens of thousands in fines could easily be collected to ease BART's monetary problems - but this is NOT even a possibility. But when one of those undesirable's does the exact same thing (he had a bottle of liquor) which the disgustingly overbearing rich routinely do: He was murdered for what they are never even charged with!
And that ladies and gentlemen is what today's peaceful demonstration is being called to PROTEST!
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