BART statement about ELERTS incident reporting system (BART Watch App)


BART statement about ELERTS incident reporting system (BART Watch App)

BART Spokesperson Alicia Trost issued the following statement about the BART Watch app by ELERTS:

The BART Board voted to award a contract in 2014 with ELERTS in response to our riders asking for a way to discreetly report criminal activity with their cellphones. Several other transit systems were using ELERTS system for this purpose and we wanted to offer it as another tool to keep our system safe.

BART’s version of the mobile app is called BART Watch, and it is a very helpful tool for our customers to report security concerns.  Dispatchers monitor the alerts and deploy officers when appropriate based on resources and the priority of calls coming in.  Our dispatchers also ask follow up questions when necessary through the service.

The safety and privacy of our riders are a priority and we want to make clear we are not using ELERTS system for any other purpose than responding to security and safety reports made by our riders.

BART does not use ELERTS system to randomly track users.  An app’s user location information is only available if the user selects the option to share their location information.  And then, BART only receives the user’s location when the user is reporting an incident. There is no default setting- the user needs to agree.  For all users, sharing their contact information and location information is optional.  

There is a user agreement that is clear. The privacy policy can be found in multiple areas including the BART website on the BART Watch page, the end-user agreement, and the ELERTS website.

It is also worth noting since it is referenced in the lawsuit that BART does not have a Stingray system.