You can check current BART delays here and on the BART Twitter.
B.A.R.T. stands for Bay Area Rapid Transit, in case you did not know.
While writing this article I realized I am way more upset at BART than I knew so I’ll start there. As someone who rides BART every day Monday through Friday, I must say I am getting very fed up with the poor public transportation system.
Update: I should probably state that I moved out of Oakland and a huge reason was BART. Riding to SF for work every day was a major stress on me and I’m sure you know if you are a daily commuter. I quit my job in SF and moved to Portland because Oakland sucks and all the real jobs were across the water. However, do not move to Portland. I left there after nearly 3 years and am now trying out Las Vegas.
BART is overpriced!
For one, it’s way overpriced. It seems like BART is increasing the fares every single year.
To go from 12th ST BART City Center Oakland to Civic Center BART in San Francisco and back it is costing me $6.30 a day. That’s $31.50 a week or $126 a month!
If I’m going to pay that much I expect seats I can at least sit on, trains that are going to be on time and a ride to work that doesn’t require me being delayed under the Transbay Tube for up to 30 minutes at a time.
Strike? BART Employees are overpaid!
BART has gone on strike and threatens to strike again even though they have a reported $125 million dollar operating surplus.
The employees who get paid very good for sitting in a box all day think that they should get paid more.
I think BART should lower the fares and do something about overcrowded trains.
The unions contend BART has a $125 million operating surplus, and that their members deserve some of it for increased ridership and high service reliability rates.
Employees want a 5 percent annual raise over the next three years. Train operators and station agents are currently paid in the low $60,000 range, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Employees average $16,590 in overtime pay.
It seems to me they are making a LOT more on overtime and these guys are balling out of control for doing nothing.
$75,000 plus? What exactly DOES a station agent do? As far as I know, they talk all day, read, and adjust a fare from time to time.
Train operators? It’s all automatic. They stick their head out, make sure no one is in the door and press the button to close it.
If I’m wrong someone please correct me so I can understand why they deserve $75,000 a year for doing nothing.
BART is dirty!
About that, the trains are disgusting. I would never sit on those seats because I see some of the dirtiest people on earth sitting on them. I have even seen a guy piss and or crap himself on the seat, get up, leave a wet spot and someone else a few stops later unknowingly sit in that seat. You just have no idea who was there before you. If you’re wondering why I didn’t say anything it’s because I wasn’t near enough and there were about 10 people in the vicinity that could have said something. As we all know, people don’t talk to each other on BART, even to help one another out. Oh well, just watch your BART seats!
Incurable bacteria have been found on the seats!
Sure one can say BART is trying to replace the seats with the new vinyl-like material for easier cleaning. But how often are those even cleaned?
Just don’t sit on BART.
BART is overcrowded!
I couldn’t sit if I wanted to anyways. My trains are so crowded in the morning that it is shoulder to shoulder standing room only. These trains are so overpacked it’s ridiculous and uncomfortable. People smell, sick people spreading SARS everywhere and of course the jerk or two who snuck their bike on the car and took up 4 or 5 spaces worth of standing room.
Don’t get me wrong, I wish I could bring my bike on BART but until BART accommodates to us and makes a bike only car in back it is rude for just YOU to break the rules while I suffer.
When leaving San Francisco in the evening, it’s a madhouse. People line up in front of the yellow lines waiting for the next train to arrive, but when it does not all of them are getting on that train so they sort of just stand there in your way. It’s rather annoying, I get structure and needing to get on and off fast, but blocking others doesn’t help and when there are 4 possible trains that can come through the station at any given time, it doesn’t work too well. These people are just lining up to try and get on first so they can sit down and play Candy Crush or play some game on their laptop.
And even worse, when getting off the train in the morning and trying to get up the escalator, there are a ton of people who just don’t understand escalator etiquette. If you are standing still like a fat lazy American, you must stay to the right. Do not block the left side! People like me want to not only walk up these escalators but double step while running! Get me out of here, I gotta get to work, I’m already running late and a Starbucks triple espresso is a must.
BART hates bikes!
BART can easily fix this. If they gutted the last car of every train so that it was seatless and just had a bunch of bike hooks, racks, nothing, whatever, we could all ride our bikes to BART and to the office. But now a lot of us are forced to take buses to BART stations and leave our metal horses at home. Get on it noobs. Simple fix, you’re way behind the times.
How can you promote public transportation, saving the environment and all that but then seem so against bikes, the best form of green transportation?
BART loves cars!
Because of the bike problem, you are encouraged to bus or even drive your car to the station and find and pay for parking. Yes, that’s right, pay for parking, just another fee.
Most of these stations you have to get there at the crack of dawn to even find a parking spot. But if you do, you pay the parking fee and then leave your car all day. There have been many car break-in and thefts in BART parking lots. I myself had my car broken into, in broad daylight at the MacArthur Station. I had only left it there from about noon till 2pm. The whole ordeal cost me a lot of money. BART Police may just very well be worthless.
BART Security Sucks
BART gives you a false sense of security with its fake video cameras in every train car. Yes, fake. I’ve always told people they are fake yet they did not believe me. However, the truth came out after someone was shot and murdered on BART.
BART delay, every day?
So now here we are shoulder to shoulder from the East Bay to San Francisco after leaving our bike at home and overpaying for a ride, the train stops in the Transbay Tube! Almost every morning it seems and sometimes it’s only 5 to 10 minutes while other times it’s up to a half-hour or more delay. Nowadays it’s becoming even more common to be stuck in a delay for over an hour.
It’s like there is always a “medical emergency” at Embarcadero, an “equipment failure” or “a few trains ahead of us”. Most of the time you don’t even know why you’ve stopped because you can’t hear a word of what the conductor is saying over busted speakers or they are too loud and distorted or they just don’t say anything at all. It’s very rare that you can hear and understand the announcement and when it is there is little to no helpful information given. If there is one thing they are not, it’s clear and transparent.
You keep cramping me underwater there talking about medical emergencies and I’m gonna have a panic attack and you’ll be dealing with me next! Not really. But come on get it together.
I hear you have medics on stand by at Embarcadero or at least I read this. Somehow this has to be more efficient.
Maybe they should be down on the platform waiting and you can get said person off the train in a matter of seconds and keep trains running on schedule. I don’t know why this always takes so long.
BART trains are so loud!
Speaking of the Transbay Tube and all, why are BART trains so loud? Is it possible that we have the loudest most deafening public transit in the country?
They are loud because of imperfections in the track and they do have rail grinding machines but hesitate to do this often cause it causes them to have to replace the tracks more often. I say, because we pay such high BART fares, our ears should be the bigger priority and they should work on reducing the noise levels as much as possible.
In the TransBay Tube the noise can reach over 100 decibels according to studies done by BART.
They claim that the trains average a noise level of 70 to 90 decibels, which can indeed cause hearing loss at sustained levels. I feel as if my hearing has suffered directly as a consequence of using BART to get to work. If there is ever any sort of class action lawsuit, I would like in because of my hearing loss from BART.
Living next to a BART track does indeed bother a lot of people but many are used to the noise levels. I myself, no matter where I have lived in Oakland could hear the trains. Even when I was a mile away from the Fruitvale Station down 35th. I’ll admit, I sort of like it and at my last place on East 14th and 6th I could hear the trains often, it wasn’t loud enough to bother me.
BART is behind the times!
I understand another thing is boarding time. And I hear we’re lucky enough to get new 3 door cars in 5 years for a faster more efficient boarding procedure but come on. Why did that take so long and why do we still have to wait this long? It seems like this would speed things up a little but also something you shouldn’t have slept on.
You say your budget is so slim but with the amount of money you are charging 370,000 plus weekday passengers, I can’t imagine how there would be a budget problem. Where is this money going? How much do you pay that guy that says please stand clear of the doors again?
Here BART gets honest on their own Twitter about this harsh reality.
And this is just about what ever day is like.
BART is a homeless shelter?
Exiting BART, the relief of not being crowded and stuck underground. That moment when you know it is no longer possible to die in an earthquake under the Bay. What could ruin that feeling of freedom?
I’ll tell you what! I get off at Civic Center and I have to deal with the accordion playing dog guy(who’s not that bad), the whining cowboy with his terrible voice(WHY?) and then a homeless encampment. Every morning! The foul stench off piss and crap all down the hall in the BART station.
The escalators are almost always out of service because you let these guys live down there and they urinate and poop in them! I am constantly stepping over streams of pee.
You recently removed the garbage can, which is good because I have seen people pissing on it many times.
Maybe if you didn’t shut down all the bathrooms underground this wouldn’t be as bad?
You know me, the paying commuter has to use the bathroom too! I know you say it’s to prevent terrorism but what terrorist needs a bathroom to blow themselves up? You’re ridiculous.
So what else are you going to do to stop this? Why do you let these people sleep in there, beg me for money every single morning and use the bathroom on the floor of my public transportation system that I pay so much for?
BART is a Corporate Tax Shelter!
So I do not fully understand this concept but here is my attempt at explaining it as short and simple as possible.
BART takes part in Lease-In Lease-Out agreements(aka LILO’s) where BART leases it’s own trains and service equipment to corporations like General Electric and then immediately leases the same exact equipment back from General Electric costing the taxpayers money and shielding General Electric from paying Federal Taxes.
So the physical inventory never leaves BART’s hands and they shuffle paper and money around back and forth to game the system. Apparently the IRS is trying to put a stop to this. I think that is how it works but please do read the full article that goes into depth.
BART Corporate Tax Shelter.
Robbery on BART is way high now.
It’s been happening in small number for years on end going mostly unreported, but recently has turn into an epidemic. There was even a full on train heist takeover in Oakland at the Coliseum station where a small army of mostly black teens took over a train car and robbed every person on the car and escaped.
BART is a death trap!
Maybe a little bit? Not really? Actually, it’s bound to happen.
I want to talk about recent safety on BART. There has been a train fire(thankfully at a station), multiple deaths, brake failures, various breakdowns, system failures and more lately. BART blamed the equipment failures on aging systems such as 40-year-old cars and whatnot. The problem here is everyone is so overpaid that none of our ridership money is going towards the immediate upgrades needed.
BART needs to prioritize, make massive pay cuts on the management side and some pretty big pay cuts on the train operator and station agent side.
The only employees at BART that actually deserve a good salary are the mechanics, maintenance, system engineers and so on who actually have trade skills specifically geared towards keeping BART running safe and at full capacity.
The people who clean the trains deserve more than the agents and operators if you ask me. However based on how damn gross the BART cars are, I would say they haven’t hired anyone to clean the trains yet.
Do I even like BART?
Ok, so you know why I hate BART and now I’m just frustrated because I’ll be walking down into Civic Center soon to go back to Oakland. I can’t even think of reasons I like it anymore other than it gets me from A to B.
The system is so old and out of date that you can’t even run trains 24 hours on weekends. What good is BART from SF to Oakland if I have to run to a station at midnight like Cinderella?
TURN OF THE DAMN HEATER! It’s 80 degrees out and this car is hot and stanky!
Facts about BART:
104 total miles of track expanding 4 counties.
44 stations total with 16 on the surface at ground level, 13 elevated above the ground and 15 underground subway stations.
669 BART cars total running at a max of 80mph and an average of 33mph.
300 ticket machines, 579 entry fare gates, and 168 add fare machines inside of stations.
As 2013 BART has about 400,000 weekday passengers(per day).
Construction began June 19th, 1964.
The Transbay Tube is 135 feet beneath the surface at it’s deepest point.
Crime On BART
BART has become a real target for criminals, especially in Oakland. Young black youth are running wild, attacking people, fighting on trains, breaking into cars, even pulling Wild West style train heist of entire cars and robbing all the people of their cell phones, laptops and wallets. But BART is too scared to tell you the truth because you may stop riding BART or they may be labeled racist for disclosing the ethnicity of the bandits.
BART is becoming the Wild West.
Watch a BART Director, Deborah Allen expose BART.
BART says African Americans make up 53% of arrest, but only 12% of riders. So we know where the problem is, but no one wants to address it because “racism”.
BART Construction: “Along the Way” 1968
This is an awesome video about the BART system being constructed in 1968.
BART, the next 40 years and the 16 billion dollar problem.
Why should we pay so dearly when they have 400,000 of us a day paying on average $6 each day? Where is that money going? 2.4 million a day?
BART Dance Performer
One good thing about BART is the random performers instead of the beggars. But the beggars are still there.
I change my mind, this is no longer a good thing because it has become way too frequent and is an invasion of our commute.
It was cute the first few times but you beggars have to understand we just got done with a very long day of work and many of us are listening to our own music, reading books, the news, working on our laptops, etc etc.
You get on the car with your loud crappy boombox and assault our commute with the same stuff every day and then ask for money.
Go do that outside of the station where we have the option of just walking by and ignoring you if we please.
Do not get in our face and force it upon us where we have no choice.
One possible solution to this is for BART to have an “entertainment car” where people can perform, BART could sell food, drinks and more. This car would, of course, be a very busy popular attraction and many problems could arise from it, but it would raise money and keep the beggars out of my face unless I choose to visit that car. Which I would for drinks!
Oh, and Silent Disco. Pretty cool.
BART is a dirty outhouse. Becuase of all the UV mercury fillament lights on the trains and in the station. Feels like sh@t to ride or be in the stations. As soon as you exit BART you feel better. Bart fails as soon as it enters Oakland from any train until it leaves Oakland. Too slow.
I hate Bart. They are doing track maintenance at 9:00at night. Those morons should be working at 2:00 am. Not when people are trying to get home. I don’t understand. Is the entire Bart management made up of morons? No other transit service favors its employees over its riders. This is ass backwards. All Bart management should be fired and they should start over.
James Burrough says
Bart workers are the laziest and most overpaid people in California. Ever ask one of them a question that sit in the information booth? They are rude, lazy and should be replaced with someone who appreciates their job and knows what “hard work” really is.
I hate riding BART right now because I pay too much. I live all the way past Antioch and have to show up for work in San Leandro. It costs me 15 bucks to park and round trip. During the weekdays at Antioch Bart station, the parking is always full by 5-6am. Only has 1k parking!
Plus I’m deaf. I went to apply for RTC card to help save money on the rides. I got all the paperwork submitted and they told me it would take 21 days to process the paperwork. WHAT THE HELL TAKES SO LONG TO JUST PROCESS PAPERWORK??!!!!! I understand at least one week but 21 days?! That’s just insane!!!
A few times I have noticed that some homeless people would ride and sleep on the seats. It stinks like toxic skunk ass in there. I noticed many people who don’t pay the fare.
BART needs to get off their lazy fat asses and do something about it! There are so many problems with bart and there is nothing being done about it.
I have been a psychiatric nurse for 35 years. Last Saturday I entered the Civic Center station and commented to my friend Civic Center reminded me of an old fashioned insane asylum. People were peeing, pooping, fixing their hair using metal surfaces as mirrors. On the way to the train we were approached by four people wanting money. A couple of weeks ago at Civic Center I stepped off the train to witness a junkie shooting up whatever right in front of the train doors. That same evening on the train 5 people got on, talking about their latest drug deal, using up the reserved for handicapped and multiple use seats. This all occurred on two Saturdays in May.
Note I am not a regular commuter, just someone who goes to entertainment events once in a while. So BART board members, please listen. BART is a public health hazard just about to explode. Any time an IV drug user pees, poops, spits, it’s a dangerous public health issue. They carry blood borne pathogens, including hepatitis and std’s which can make you sick if you touch their secretions!!!! Blood borne hepatitis infection can lead to acute liver failure and liver cancer later on. In the hospital we would be using infection control precautions to take care of these folks. Why don’t people realize this is serious!!!!! Ask any health care professional you know. Yet I have never seen once BART police try to intervene with these desperately sick folks who need medical help a lot more than money. Not all BART stations are like this but please do something to stop this public exposure to dangerous bio hazards. The science fiction tale of the fatal supergerm is born out of these environments. Keep newspaper to put on the seats, use hand sanitizer frequently and stay well away from infected individuals. Let them hog up 10 seats and avoid getting sick
There’s also the issue of crime but that’s a whole other topic…….and rude people. If I worked for BART I would take this seriously and develop an immediate plan for correcting. People think about this
One last comment to thank those who give up their seats to the elderly and handicapped while having to stand on their trip home
BART police please show yourselves in these drug infested insane asylum stations and do something to make the public safe
Bart is not safe, I’ve been riding it for about 5 years now on a commute from Concord to SF, and there’s always packed trains past Walnut Creek. Riding Bart, at the gate you’re greeted by homeless people, drug addicts and the station agent who’s watching a baseball game inside the office/box. They complain about their job when the riders are the real ones suffering here, the fares just go up year by year without any explanation and the service is gradually declining.
Get rid of the homeless people, beggars and dancers who invade riders’ commute daily with the same terrible loud music and “moves” which we have seen 100 times because they go on Bart everyday at the same time. The trains are overly loud, noise pollution fills the surrounding areas, and daily delays over police activity/medical emergency/mechanical problems can’t be an excuse anymore! Where is all of our money going to? The station agent that does nothing inside their office? When you ask them a question nicely or tell them about something suspicious on Bart, they just roll their eyes right in front of your face and tell you to tell the operator instead. Also suggest they should learn from Japanese trains which are far superior, fast, efficient, clean and friendlier; they even have an all-female train which I suggest adding to Bart’s trains. How can they control the crazy people and SF Bart be the train where crazy people reside daily? Bart is a terrible service which riders are forced to take with no other option if we don’t have a car.
You are not safe on BART. Note the rise in muggings on the trains and platforms. BART’s response is that their cops can’t be everywhere at once. BART cops are useless. You are on your own conduct yourself accordingly.
Sarah Smythe says
I get upset every time I return to the downtown Berkeley station. The selfish zombies waiting to get on the train won’t let people off even when there are elderly people with canes. How can these people be so stupid and rude?!
Oh, I know what you mean. When I rode BART daily I would always have to fight boarding traffic just to get off the train.
And if I was standing aside letting people exit the train, people in line behind me would cut in front anyway.
Bart Ryder says
TELL YOUR BART BOARD MEMBER TO FIRE THE CEO. SHE HASN’T DONE ANYTHING TO FIX PROBLEMS AND DOESN’T SEEM TO CARE. SHE IS TERRIBLE. FIRE HER NOW.
Lonsdaleite Mapping says
Let me say this. This is not my experience of BART, by a long shot. I am an 11 year old who regularly commutes on BART from Castro Valley to Powell for school, and has done this recreationally with my father many times before too, and this is not my experience. I have had a mostly positive experience with BART. Never been robbed, never pickpocketed, didn’t find it particularly disgusting, (Powell is the worst) Also, if you are judging BART by just the Oakland stations, you are quite limited in saying that, look at the PB/Richmond/DP stations, and say that again. I love BART. I can certainly see why you would dislike it. I suppose we shall agree to disagree.
It is so disgusting. Oakland and SF, the most used stations.
And no, it is a pretty small chance that one individual would be a victim of a crime but the crime is there and can’t be denied.
Lonsdaleite Mapping says
Sure, I can see that, I just feel as though you are overblowing the issue. Also, sure, the Oakland/SF stations are disgusting, but the DP line stations, PBP line stations, and the Peninsula Stations are actually quite clean. So, you are a bit limited in only using the Oakland stations
Well, the majority of the riders use these stations. And pay for it.
Lonsdaleite Mapping says
Not necessarily. I mean, there is a large amount of people that don’t also. The disgusting stations are Oakland/San Leandro/Fremont/North SF Stations. However, PBP, DP, Peninsula and Richmond stations are quite clean compared to the former ones. So, no, the majority of riders exit on them, but don’t board on them. Also, BART is actually much cleaner than, say, the New York subway, 483 CFUs per square inch on pole surfaces, that’s barely worse than your computer keyboard. Of course, BART is much worse than the Boston T, but it could be a lot worse.
Eugene Debs says
I’ve rode BART for several decades. More than half a dozen stations are sewers—far worse than anything in NY. All the cars smell bad all the time. I see many crimes occur every day. I see dangerous, frightening crimes once a week. Security has essentially been “faking it” for years.
Lonsdaleite Mapping says
Also, BART is upgrading their infrastructure and implementing new trains. They are getting better, quieter, more high tech and are keeping up better with the times. BART is improving.
The few new trains– far too late– is not enough. It is just to help on and off boarding by adding another door so there is not as big of a backup through the Transbay Tube during commute hours.
How do you know they are quieter? Where is the specs on decibel levels for the new trains?
And what else are they upgrading? They may add a new line and station, but that only puts more strain, nothing more.
Lonsdaleite Mapping says
They are enough. I do not know the exact decimal count, however I have seen them in person, and I can confirm they are quiet. Also, you are leaving out the greater amount of standing room. How is that not enough? I am loving BART, and this would be an amazing addition to the transit system. I don’t understand what more you could ask for. “More Strain”? Ok, I do agree, but we will have 775 train cars, not 600 to police the system. Plus, I take it that you don’t disagree with my germ comment, right?
Larry Davis says
Yes, the 11 year old mind at work. BART is Great!! Idiot.
The issue is not if it happens to you or not, the issue is if it happens to anyone. The problem, in general, is that people feel if they are getting their needs met that is all that matters. BART can and should do better, it has not gotten better over time, it has gotten worse and that is the real problem. BART was once the pride of the Bay Area, how sad………..
Dwayne Dixon says
It is the communist-leftist Democrats of the Bay Area’s fault. They file lawsuits to keep housing projects from ever housing so limited housing means high housing costs – supply and demand. It is exactly like labor, high supply of lowly skilled labor means their wages won’t go up, but California needs slaves to service the rich so keep the lowly skilled and uneducated coming.
The weather was no longer so great that I wanted to continue living there so here I am on the East Coast where the ocean water is warm and the beaches fantastic.
The nanny state ran me out, but the leftist love laws that limit their freedom. Freedom is on the outside of California just over the border.
Those migrants working in the 100 degree hot summer picking crops are same as blacks picking cotton more than a century ago. They work without any rights so farm owners, the rich slave owners basically, don’t have to concern themselves with worker safety or even minimum wage since those slaves can’t report their horrible work conditions to anyone for fear they’ll be black listed among all of the slave owners in all of California.
California the land of serfdom where the peasants slave for the techies and those lucky enough to have a union job.
Lu Lu says
This thread is like therapy. BART is traumatizing. I feel very unsafe on BART, still pissed that those security cameras were FAKE! WTF! Sent my poor little mom off on BART one time and she got robbed. Oh hell no! I know robberies happen all over the world, but this was just the icing on the cake.
As a cyclist, my commute is hell. I have to wait until rush hour is over, which thankfully my job understands. On days I have to be in early however, I need to BART then Lyft to work which is starting to add up $$. BART is already expensive as it is. I used to take the bus but then I got mugged by at the bus stop. UGH. I am sick of this crime ridden expensive shit.
NYC subway as old as it is, is superior to BART and cheaper, more convenient. They even have wifi now…. (which I’m not sure is great, but at least they are trying!)
Fuck even the Paris Metro which started operating in the 1900’s works better than BART.
I understand transit gets crowded during rush hours, I’ve dealt with packed trains in London, Tokyo, Seoul and yes NYC and Paris. However the difference with BART for whatever reason is that people in SF do not seem to understand crowded train courtesy. Let passengers off the train BEFORE you try to get in. If you are in front of the door and the train is crowded, please step out and let people out instead of blocking the exit.
And what is up with fare evaders going through emergency door IN FRONT of BART agent and them doing nothing?
Anyhow I am so glad this thread exists.