Two bodies found at separate bart stations



By Pablo Villasenor, CONTRIBUTOR

Two recent deaths on Bay Area Rapid Transit are not an indication that there is a safety problem on the transit system, according to a BART spokesman Chris Filippi.
Filippi of BART Communications said the two deaths at San Leandro and Union City stations are an unfortunate reality of public high-traffic places.
“This is not indicative of BART being unsafe. It’s an unfortunate circumstance but BART isn’t any different than any other public place,” Filippi said. “There are circumstances where people die in public places and in this case, there was no evidence of foul play and they don’t appear to be connected.”
The bodies of two men were found just 11 hours apart on Jan. 26 at each of the two stations. The deaths were deemed non-violent and unrelated by BART officials.
A statistic from the BART Police Department shows an increase in crime over the last three years.
For every 1 million riders, crimes were committed against 1.8 riders in 2016, 2.7 riders in 2017, and 3.5 riders in 2018; This illustrates a steady rise of about one victim of a crime every year. These statistics only reflect reported crimes.
BART police have undergone several improvements in funding, office staff, public outreach, enforcement and dispatch all in the last year in an effort to combat this unfortunate pattern.
In September 2018, the Department of Homeland Security awarded BART $6.8 million in Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP) funding.
The grant has paid for continued police patrols on trains traveling through BART’s busiest stations and interoperable radio communications systems for BART officials.
BART’s Board of Directors also approved the phased implementation of a new Safety and Security Action Plan in Aug. 2018 that will enhance enforcement and increase public safety outreach over the next five years.
The plan also includes an estimated $17.5 million investment to install emergency call boxes with a direct line to police dispatch on every platform. It will also expand and improve BART’s network of surveillance cameras.