A Sad Day for Bart

mourning-black-ribbonToday is a very sad day for Bart…a Bart police officer fatally shot a fellow officer while searching a suspect’s apartment. That’s what the news outlets are reporting. A thousand questions lie behind this story that demand answers.

There aren’t nearly enough Bart police officers in the system, a point that was brought up in the strike negotiations last year–and now we have one less…a good one, too. I wish every platform had a Bart officer on it all the time, maybe even every train. That would really help! A Bart station or train doesn’t always feel like the most safe place in the world. Just yesterday, our conductor announced that our train would be held up a few minutes at the next stop while she performed a “welfare check” on a passenger. I’m not sure what that means, but it doesn’t sound good. It could either apply to the homeless man whose been sleeping in a seat and is no longer responsive, or to the aggressive woman with a scooter ranting at all the passengers about her mode of transportation. And why should the conductor, a female, be the one to do such a thing?

Times have been hard for Bart ever since Bart employees staged two hugely unpopular strikes last year. Just a day after the second strike ended, two Bart workers were killed by a Bart train while servicing the tracks.

Days after that, a transgender woman jumped from the Bart tracks onto the highway and committed suicide–a horrible tragedy that completely disrupted train service for the day. That seems so petty to write, that a woman’s death disrupted train service, but it effectively stranded thousands of passengers on overcrowded trains for hours while the body was removed and the police investigated. It wasn’t until after we were let off the train that we learned why we had been detained…

And now this. Tough times for Bart…

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