BART ambassadors start riding trains | News | |


BART ambassadors start riding trains

Pilot program aims to address safety concerns

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BART officials are hoping a new ambassador program that launched this week will provide riders with a sense of added security and help curb inappropriate behavior aboard trains.

Starting Monday, 10 BART ambassadors wearing distinct uniforms were out walking trains in teams of two along the agency's busiest routes, BART officials said.

The six-month pilot ambassador program will cost the transit agency $690,000 and was approved last month in response to concerns about safety aboard trains.

The ambassadors were recruited from the ranks of BART's police community service officers. They completed de-escalation and anti-bias training last Friday, BART officials said.

"This team will be police employees and trained to provide a sense of safety and security for our riders on-board trains and deter crime," BART Police Chief Ed Alvarez said in January after the BART Board of Directors approved the program.

The unarmed ambassadors will ride trains from 2 p.m. to midnight seven days a week, with extra coverage on Saturdays.

The program will focus on the most heavily traveled route -- the Transbay corridor between the 12th Street Oakland and San Francisco Civic Center stations.

During the busy evening commute, the ambassadors will walk trains on other portions of BART routes, including Oakland Coliseum to Union City, and Walnut Creek to Pittsburg-Bay Point.

The ambassadors are trained to answer riders' questions and will have radios to report security issues and biohazards.

When police are needed, the ambassadors will call an officer, BART officials said.

— Bay City News Service

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5 people like this
Posted by Jake Waters
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 13, 2020 at 8:34 am

Regarding the article: some take-aways:

-“The six-month pilot ambassador program will cost the transit agency $690,000...”
-“ They completed de-escalation and anti-bias training...”
-“ This team will be police employees and trained to provide a sense of safety and security...”

My wife and I ride the train regularly to San Francisco and have observed much over the years that I imagine many of you, reading this article, have as well.

To begin, I question the cost and return for 6 months of these 10 kids (I’ve seen them on the train traveling as a group to an unknown location) and it appears this is lipstick on a pig. I apologize for insulting a pig.

Secondly, I say sarcastically, what exactly is ‘anti-bias’ training, and what does it cover? Does the philosophy restrict these social directors from confronting antisocial behavior committed by certain groups? Is it sanctuary training to insure illegals are not confronted? Has the training washed the minds of these young social directors of any biased unconscientiousness? Is there a legend I can review to see if I am exempt from anti-biased contact? The practice of ‘anti-biased’ seems to fall more and more into a biased category. I’m so confused.

Lastly, I am a tad uncomfortable with the confidence level surrounding this program with their outcome to provide us with a ‘sense of safety and security.’ I would like to know what a ‘sense of security and safety’ looks like. It sounds more like providing an ‘appearance’ of earning that $690,000.00.

With 10 ambassadors, I imagine I will see them as much as I have seen uniformed BART cops in the trains over the last 10 years- very, very, very, rarely.

5 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Feb 17, 2020 at 9:08 am

why are they called ambassadors? it’s another PC term to excuse bad behavior by people being high and out of control, or loud and threatening, etc. Or mentally ill. Just hire more police and train them in social services and outreach. And pay them well.

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