BART Police are reminding riders where it's okay to drink and eat on BART property and where it's not.
"According to both state law and BART policy, passengers can drink and eat all they want in the 'Free Area,' which we define as the portion of the station that's outside the fare gates where you don't need a ticket," BART Police Chief Gary Gee said. "But BART Police Officers will ticket riders who eat or drink in the 'Paid Area,' which we define as the places where you need a ticket such as inside the fare gates of a station, on platforms or on any train. State law sets the fine as high as $250 and up to 48 hours of community service for this infraction."
Chief Gee points out that there's a distinct difference between eating and drinking and bringing food or beverage into the Paid Area. "You can bring your lunch or groceries onto a train, just please don't eat it," he said.
NO EATING/DRINKING KEEPS BART CLEANER
BART has a no eating or drinking policy in the "Paid Areas" in an effort to keep the trains and stations as clean as possible.
"We have 360,000 riders each work day, many of whom spoke loudly and clearly in our last passenger satisfaction survey that BART trains need to be cleaner," BART General Manager Dorothy Dugger said. "That's why this year we've started investing in purchasing new seats, replacing carpet with composite flooring and hiring more train car cleaners. But let's face it, BART cars jostle and passengers bump into each other. It would simply be impossible for us to meet our goal of a cleaner BART if we had to keep up with all the spilled coffee and food were we to allow passengers to eat or drink on trains and platforms."
BEVERAGES & FOOD SERVED AT BART FOR YEARS
Since 1987, BART has allowed concessionaires to sell food and beverages on BART property. The policy no eating or drinking policy in the "Paid Areas" has been in effect since BART began service on September 11, 1972.