FREE public transportation/BART

I'd like to add/expand this
Submitted by Big Daddy on Thu, 04/05/2007 - 12:39pm.

I'd like to add/expand this discussion to realistically explore the idea of FREE BART rides.
It's come to my attention that by far the biggest expense of this mode of PUBLIC transportation is the entire money taking aspect. The lion's share of the COST of running BART is in maintaining the employees and infrastructure to charge money for the ride. Think of all those BART employees who's only job it is to take your money. They are the reason that it costs so much money to operate! The ticket agents, the ticket sellers, the ticket combiners, the ticket refunders, the ticket printing machines, the ticket taking machines - all of which are incredibly expensive to buy, run, maintain, etc. The BART cops you need to enforce the ticket buying and processing. The actual cost of printing up millions of magnetic striped tickets. The administrators you need to "manage" the ticket revenue. The benefits that have to be paid for all those ticket related employees.
Can somebody please help with the math? How many employees are there? How much of operating expenses goes to pay them?
If the only BART employees were drivers and maintainers and you didn't need to electrify and maintain thousands of expensive electronic devices then how much would BART actually cost?
Decrease/eliminate costs, ridership will increase dramatically, and taxpayers will gladly chip in a little more to maintain/improve the system and service. To fund wasteful mismanagement and poor, overpriced service, they will balk.
All cities served by BART should chip in. There must be federal funding available as well. Please help contribute meaningfully with facts to fuel this discussion. Thank you for taking an interest in improving our public transportation.

Comments

I was intrigued by your post so I decided to do some reasearch into this matter.

Found this -> http://www.bart.gov/docs/FY2006_financials.pdf

Main points (if you dont want to read that):

2006 Operating revenues
Fares 256,238,000
Other 18,886,000
Total 275,124,000
2006 Operating expenses
Transportation 125,022,000
Maintenance 168,226,000
Police services 39,109,000
Construction and engineering 17,777,000
General and administrative 111,532,000
Depreciation 145,306,000
Total 606,972,000

Now the question is, what can they cut from the expenses that can amount to $256 million? Unfortunately I don't know how much of "Maintenance" and "General and Administrative" refer to actual ticket-related expenses.

The other unknown is how much cost can they cut from "Sytemwide Operation and Control" - if any - if the electronic ticket management aspect was taken out. For example, just because they stop using ticketing machines doesn't mean they aren't still paying off loans for the machines.

So my conclusion: After the capital costs of the ticketing systems, matinence seems to be almost nothing in comparison to the actual car and rail matinence. And the only employees who could be sacrificied with the elimination of those systems are the technicians who specialize solely with those. Station operators have many other duties to manage besides ticketing.

With the amount of debt BART has accumulated, I see no way for them to sacrifice $256 million. Without fares, there would be no point to increasing ridership other than for 3rd party advertising revenue. To sum it up: if BART could profit from elimating ticketing costs, they would already be doing it.

Other random data:
480 ticket vending machines
579 faregates
162 addfare machines

Estimated Original Construction Costs (BART.com)
Total cost of basic system (exclusive of Transbay Tube) $1,443,000,000
Cost of Transbay Tube $176,000,000
Total Cost $1,619,000,000
Sources of Funding:
1962 General Obligation Bond Referendum $792,000,000
California Toll Bridge Authority $176,000,000
Proceeds of Sales Tax Revenue $150,000,000
Earnings from Temporary Investments $111,000,000
Transit Development $24,000,000
Miscellaneous Income $51,000,000
Federal Capital Grants $330,000,000

Good Links on BART finances:
http://www.bart.gov/about/financials/
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/04/29/BAG52CHILD1.DTL
http://www.transcoalition.org/c/sus_bart/budget_facts.html

Also I forgot to mention, they do get federal funding AND individual city goverment funding from participating cities. BART relys heavily on money from the government.

I will save you a 100k plus a year, fire Fannie, who seems to only manage to hire her not-so-qualified family members, who flunk class after class, yet still manage to get rehired or another chance. Start with her.

I have no idea who that is, but I'm 100% FOR the firing of incompetent people. Give her a broom and a mop and cut her pay and if she slacks off doing that then cut her from the team.
People who obviously HATE their jobs need to be fired to encourage them to find what they love and can do well.

Fannie is a very attractive African American female who might have flunked the class but has a pair of nice legs. Who says you've got to have brains to get a job with BART. I know a lot of BART employees who can't spell but earned their job with kneepads!

To bad many people who were qualified for positions, so she could feel them with her questionable family members! But, yes, she is hot!

you gotta be kidding me. who in her family has she hired?

No, it is you who are kidding! If you work for BART and can't name one of Fannie's kin, then you most be anti-social. If you can't name, the System services workers (you will have to include the one who was fired and then moved to grounds--a pay rise I might add), or The station agents (you will have to inculde the one who failed the class and was then given a job in the lost and found, so please spare me the you gotta be kidding me.

I assumed the state, cities and feds made some contributions. What were the specific numbers on those contributions? Can they realistically be upped if increased ridership and decreased congestion/improved air quality can be guaranteed?
All those extra riders means more people getting out and about and spending money in all those BART accessible cities.
Less cars means cleaner air and healthier people walking and biking to BART. Sometimes the massive health benefits are factored into these "cost assessments" and they frequently run quickly into the hundreds of millions, if we are to put a price on human life and its quality, which we can do based on healthcare costs and "lost productivity"/missed work due to sick days, etc.

boopiejones's picture

for 2006, it looks like bart received $192 mil from sales taxes, $43 mil from property tax, and only $16 mil from federal funding.

Okay, I'm trying to make sense of these numbers from the original source now.

Why did the "operating loss increase 35 million from 2004?
What is causing "nonoperating revenues" to increase? Is that "advertising?" If so, how much more can it be increased? What's stopping it from increasing dramatically more? Would big increases in ridership increase the advertising revenues that could be generated? If you doubled the ridership could you double the advertising rates? Why isn't every available surface in every station and train plastered with income generating advertising? It seems like somebody's not doing their job. I've seen some systems that let a company/advertiser "adopt" or sponsor a train or bus and cover the vehicle or station with their advertising/paint job. This would be akin to the cars that people get to drive for free that are custom painted by the advertisers. You can see them driving around San Francisco and amount to rolling billboards. Just like the way a company can "sponsor" a stretch of highway by paying for its maintenance as a way of generating community goodwill and getting their name on a sign seen by millions.

Moving on, why did "capital revenues" decrease 15 million?
What is the 36 million dollar "special item" from 2005?
I see in the description/explanation that "The increase in concession and other revenues is due to increases in
advertising revenue of $1,528,000 (wy not more?), in reimbursements of support costs from telecommunication and
other projects of $1,486,000 (what the hell is this?), and in traffic fine collections (excellent, but how much and what exactly does it mean and can it be increased?) and concession revenues from public phones
and newsstands of $963,000 (I would imagine there's huge room for improvement here since public phones and newstands seem a pathetic revenue stream - come on, let's get creative here, how about wifi kiosks on the platforms for one - this is not rocket science)."

"Net operating expenses increased by $49,694,000 in fiscal year 2005 which was mainly due to (1) an
increase in depreciation expense, a non-cash item, of $12,129,000; (2) an increase of $24,550,000 in
pension contributions to CalPERS due to the resumption in fiscal year 2005 of the employer
contributions for the Miscellaneous Plan and an increase in the required employer contribution rate for
the Safety Plan from 2.897% to 28.910%; (3) in fiscal year 2005 the additional 3.5% money purchase
pension plan contributions to employees was discontinued which resulted in an expense reduction of
$7,120,000; (4) an increase in the expense accrual for workers’ compensation self-insurance reserve of
$4,057,000; (5) increase in the employees salaries and benefits totaling an estimated amount of
$19,000,000"

Okay, I read this as a 38 million dollar operating expense increase in employee related expenses. This far offset the 26.5 million operating revenue increase thanks to an extra 22.5M ponied up by riders and the pathetic 3.9M increase in concessions. Guess what, fire all those employees and the operating expenses fall of sharply.

Net nonoperating expense increases of nearly 44M are a little confusing to make sense of due to paying and collecting of all kinds of debts and investments. Too confusing for me.

The Statements of Net Assets also contained so many numbers that my head hurts. The bottom lines seemed stable since 2004. Maybe somebody else can digest it and locate some waste.

Capital Assets seemed to contain large changes on the order of tens of millions of dollars. The changes seemed inadequately explained, e.g. why did "train control equipment totaling $20,822,000 in 2006 and $25,038,000 in 2005?" What are "revenue transit vehicles" and why did their value change to $4,498,000 in 2006 from $9,494,000 in 2005?
Why did "automatic fare collection equipment"
amount to $6,615,000 in 2006 and $11,488,000 in
2005?
And what the hell does this mean "Business Advancement Plan (BAP) which is a project to replace the information technology
systems supporting the District’s administrative business totaling $2,788,000 in 2006 and
$10,458,000 in 2005."

I'd sure love to know more about this "The District has entered into contracts for the construction of various facilities and equipment totaling
approximately $553,859,000 at June 30, 2006 and $492,974,000 at June 30, 2005."

My head's starting to hurt. I'll have to continue trying to dissect the numbers another time. I just want to know how much it costs to run BART trains with operators and maintain and clean the trains and tracks. To me, all the rest is unnecessary.

This is fantastic data. Thank you so much for not only collecting the data comprehensively but also doing us all the favor of accurately digesting it and breaking it down for us.

293,250,000 approximately equals the operating and maintenance costs from what I see. I'm not sure how much of that "maintenance" cost is for tracks and trains and how much is for turnstiles and ticket machines.

Let's just get to slashing and see what we come up with. 90% reduction of police force = a savings of roughly 35 million, especially since we're going to stop paying for a fleet of idling cruisers. Sorry, see my other blog for a detailed discussion of that.

General and administrative - I'd guess without having to "manage" the money/fares that we can cut at least 100 million out there.

Depreciation - 145 million - this is just ridiculous and outrageous. This is merely an accounting trick to justify increasing fares and reducing service. I've got to see a breakdown of how they arrive at that figure. This is just like when you "depreciate" the value of your house to take advantage of tax law, when in reality the real estate is INCREASING in value due to constantly rising real estate values. Now are you doubtful that all that BART real estate is INCREASING in value and not actually DEPRECIATING?
Now granted, all those leased machines ARE depreciating and should be returned or sold.
Station attendant have other duties? Like what? pulling the gate closed at the end of the night and raising it in the morning? Other than that, what? I usually see 3 agents in a booth just shooting the shit - when they're not dealing with fucked up tickets or ticket machines that is. The extent of their "customer service" is to point to the rack of literature for bus or train information/schedules. Any verbal interaction is just as easily accomplised via those white phones and a centralized operator who actually has REAL INFORMATION to dispense.

I'm not sure where that gets us at this point. I'm sure it makes up for all the "lost" revenue from "fare collection."
Don't forget, I'm also advocating increases in car related expenses to encourage more people to abandon their cars in favor of public transit/BART. Increase tolls, parking fees, meter rates, parking tickets, a Bay Area gas tax. This would raise many, many millions of dollars if not billions.

I apologize for the very rough apprisal of your meticulous work. When I get a chance I'll try to discern the specific expenses and how they are broken down from your original source and see if I can make any clearer sense of them.

boopiejones's picture

depreciation (note 5 of the financials): bart does not depreciate their land. so you are incorrect. of the $5.3bln in depreciating assets, $3.5bln is tracks and stations, $1bln is trains and $0.5bln is computer systems (and i believe faregates, but the statement doesn't specify), the rest is small misc stuff (leased trains, capitalized construction, etc). all of these things really do depreciate and eventually need to be replaced. in short, bart's depreciation is NOT JUST AN ACCOUNTING TRICK.

you cannot just axe 90% of the police force. if you did that, i for one would not be riding even if it was free. criminals look for easy targets. a lawless train sounds like an easy one to me.

do you really think it costs $100 mil to manage the money? G&A encompases so much more than that. on your lawlwess train, you probably couldn't cut out more than $2MM of G&A.

the statement does not break out the maintenance for the faregates vs. the track & trains, but i'd argue that the trains take up the lions share of maintenance. which requires more maintenance, your car or the garage door???

you can't just go hacking out a bunch of money. it simply won't work.

Does anyone know how BART financials compare, appropriations (%) wise, to other large transit systems in No. Cal?
AC Transit...MUNI...CalTrain

Is the money really being all that mismanaged?
There is an ELECTED board after all.

I do realize that I may be a little naive, but I don't really see it.

AC Transit's infomation is here

http://www.actransit.org/pdf/aboutus_2001.pdf

So I see triple the operating expenses for BART - 573M vs 197M for ACTransit. Fares pay for 23% of AC's operating funds vs 45% of BART's.

Okay, now I see BART's important numbers:
Operating revenues
Fares $ 256,238 $ 233,651
Other 18,886 14,993
Total operating revenues 275,124 248,644

Operating expenses
Transportation 125,022 127,391
Maintenance 168,226 163,051
Police services 39,109 37,510
Construction and engineering 17,777 16,030
General and administrative 111,532 109,130
Depreciation 145,306 128,697
Total operating expenses 606,972 581,809

So BART's riders pay for 45% of BART's operating expenses as they are currently, but could easily be displaced by massive cuts related to eliminating fare collection and restructuring. This figure, even as is, is twice ACTransit's rider contribution.

Sounds like mismanagement on a grand scale resulting in gross overcharging to customers.

Thank you for breaking down the assets and the depreciation. I agree that trains, tracks and stations are infrastructure that does depreciate and will eventually require replacement, although I'd hope that the huge expenditure for maintenance will keep them going for many decades yet. I'm also all for corporate sponsorship of infrastructure - just like we let Coke, MacDonald's or Nike sponsor sports teams or the like in our schools I imagine if creative fundraising were done the megamoney in Silicon Valley would gladly sponsor trains, segments of track and stations - especially if the system were ever finally extended to their territory. Why the fuck hasn't this happened? It's like a goldmine that everyone knows about but is too lazy to make the effort to reach.

Interesting observation regarding "$0.5bln is computer systems." I wonder how much of that is faregates and ticketing machines. That's a lot of money!

I'm amendable to axing only 80% of the BART police force if it is determined that the other 20% is absolutely essential, which I am wholly unconvinced of. I advocate much smarter policing, not paying a bunch of shit talkers to congregate in $50,000 police cruisers drinking coffee (see my other blog here for lengthy discussion of BART police). Point being, it would be far from a "lawless train" just a more customer friendly train.

You'll have to give a full explanation of "G&A encompases so much more than that."
I see gross mismanagement. 111 million dollars to "manage" a system that doesn't take in much more than that in paying fares? If a MacDonald's took in a million dollars a year, would you pay the manager a half million?
Managing BART should be a public service done voluntarily by retired experts in rail management, engineering, city planning, etc. Of course I also think that any public service should be voluntary - i.e. every government job. Government should not be a money making, profiteering venture. It should be the apex of civic duty/community activism/involvement. I digress...or do I?

I agree/pray that the trains and tracks need infinitely more maintenance than the ticket machines and faregates, but there are many hundreds of them versus just a fraction as many trains. I'd also guess that those technicians make more than the guys working on the trains. But more information would be greatly appreciated.

You're right. Hacking out a bunch of money isn't the answer. A complete restructuring of the system is urgently required.

Shrapnel's picture

What do you have against the BART Police?

Axing 80% would leave you with about 30 officers. Again, let's do the math. That's 6 Officers per shift. Divide by 42 stations. Plus the trains. And the rights of way. And the facilities. And the maintenance yards. And the parking lots.

BigDouchy, I'm sick of your stupid ideas that really have no backbone. Axing the police? When you get booty-raped, who ya gonna call? Ghost busters? I don't think they'd be much help...

I guess I give up. I try to educate people, as do others on this Forum, but to no avail. BigDopey, do what you please. Thank god no one takes anything you say seriously (probably because they realize it's not factual... it's all just dead wrong). Go play with someone else. We're sick and tired of your attention-getting tactics.

This is my last reply to ANY of your posts. Is anyone else with me?

i'm with you sista

Well, thankfully at least nobody on my forum will have to see your pathetically retarded attempts to do math. Please, BUY A FUCKING CALCULATOR!

Once again for those of you who didn't already see me discuss this on my other blog:
20% of 300 BART pigs is 60, not 30. BART is open about 20 hours a day, divided into 2 - 10 hour shifts. That's 30 cops per shift if they were divided evenly between daytime and nighttime shifts, or .71 pigs for every station. But as I already discussed, most people expressed concern more about nighttime hours, presumably after rush hour, so probably like 8pm-midnight or so. So maybe the shifts could be restructured so the police presence should be much heavier during those hours, while during the day they're not really needed. So 60 cops times 40 hours/week=2400 cop hours. If 60 cops were on 4 hours/night, 7 days a week that's 1680 hours, leaving 720 cop hours to cover the rest. That leaves 6.4 cops on during the day for the remaining 16 hours, cruising trains and stations that's .15 cops per station on during the day. Those numbers are just rough guesses about how it might work. The point is that only a few "bad" stations have been mentioned, maybe 15 at most, and those only appear to be "bad" at night. So if you had 60 cops on during "bad" hours for 15 "bad" stations, that's 4 cops per bad station. As it is, that is massive overkill.

I'm all for proper surveillance camera placement with qualified operators to deter crime. I am strongly against army's of Jack Booted Thugs who are rude and aggressive to paying customers and are generally useless aside from sucking coffee on customer funds.

As for getting booty raped - everyone should own and carry a gun. When this finally happens, there will be no more booty rapes.
As it is, how often does this happen? How much of a deterrent are BART cops when it does happen? How effective are they from preventing it from happening. Show me some hard numbers if you hope to have any credibility. Oh, I forgot, you don't have any, which is why you're incapable of engaging in meaningful discussion and therefore have no business on my forum. Good riddance.

The term "pigs" is starting to make my fuckin' skin crawl.
And, I'm not a cop.

You use it an awful lot, to the point that it detracts from whatever your topic was.

Dude, mix it up a little bit.....JEEZ
At my house we call them....
"I hope they 'aint coming here"

Just my perception.....
jbap21

I hear ya jbap, they're just so sickening I can't help myself much of the time.

I went looking for the derivation of the term "pigs" for "cops" to justify my use, which derives directly from my feelings about them and my opinion of them and couldn't find much comprehensive other than "one who is intensely disliked," but I did find a great blog http://www.veganporn.com/1052274905.html that discusses what they're all about sans the connection to the term.

Personally I like to use the term because I think of them as greedy and devouring everything in their path, like pigs. They're out to rob and steal and rape (yes, I've known girls who've been raped by pigs) and pillage and plunder our (the PUBLIC's) rights, our property, our freedom, our cash, etc. in the name of "the law" or "justice" or "preserving the status quo," "the ruling class," or "protecting the elite" since they are the only ones who actually seem to enjoy any actual "protection" by their servants.

Sure, they seem to get a sadistic kick out of beating some poor bastard senseless and then covering each other's asses with lies to justify it, but the "pig" moniker really derives directly from my perception of them as greedy human vacuum machines sucking up as much tax money as possible to do as little as possible while hungrily rooting for yet more to aggrandize. Talk about "parasites!"

Sorry if it offends you.

That's a good one. Someone living off other peoples money
calling someone who works for a living a "parasite".

I'm not sure who you're talking to. I "survive" by thriftily managing the meager leftover after the tuition is paid and essentially taking a vow of poverty in the pursuit of higher education with the goal of actually contributing something meaningful to society instead of just wasting my life collecting property.

What are you doing for society with your life?

boopiejones's picture

I know a girl that was raped by a life-long student. true story.

when i myself was a student i worked at the school bookstore for a while. let me tell you - students steal A LOT more than cops do.

a great number of students are parasitically sucking money out of their parents and taxpayers.

if you've ever been to the average frat house or dorm room, i think you'd find that the "pig" label fits students rather nicely.

I think we're pretty far from discussing BART issues, no?

Yes, rape is prevalent. I'd put the numbers comfortably at about 80% of females have been molested as children by family members, neighbors, babysitters, etc. and then the number increases dramatically through adolescence and at college where many engage in recreational binge drinking for the first time as well as plenty of other drugs.

As for your stint at the school bookstore and its relation to theft by cops, that logic seems pretty fuzzy to me. Was the school bookstore patronized equally by cops and students?

Yes, many children receive financial assistance from their parents and grants paid for by taxpayers. Most even go into debt by taking out loans they must repay. I'm not sure where parent-child relationships fit into this discussion. As for taxpayer assistance for students, I guess society figures there's only so many jobs available at the local MacDonalds flipping burgers and sees a value in encouraging its citizens to aspire to higher education to benefit society in some valuable way and to keep our nation competitive in the world market.

But if you feel differently then you should contact your representatives and let them know that you don't want your tax dollars to fund higher education. (Tell them you'd rather they apply your tax dollars to provide free public transportation for everybody - just a suggestion.)

I also agree that frat houses can be quite messy. I don't really see the point of frats myself. They just seem like organized binge drinking begging for problems, fights and date rapes.

Personally, I'm a graduate student getting no grants, just loans and the occasional birthday or Christmas check from mom ;-)

Shrapnel's picture

First off, idiot, there are NOT 300 BART Police Officers. We have a budget for 200 but only about 170 of those slots are filled. So get it straight. Now, of our 170 Officers, you purpose axing 80%. That leaves you with BART Police are on duty 24 hours a day, in three shifts. Midshift, swing, and graveyard.

Now, bear in mind, you bumbling fool, that not all Officers are on duty seven days per
week. Keeping in mind the whole three shifts per day thing, (most Officers work 4 days a week, 10hrs/day). If you can't figure that one out, I'm gonna stop trying to teach you.

Secondly, the "bad" stations aren't just bad at night. Thugs will be thugs, day or night. They're not like a bunch of bipolar clowns who turn from friendly, cheery, god-loving young men during the day to horrible, evil, thieving hoodlums by night.

THIRDLY, how much of a deterrent are BART Police Officers? We are sworn officers and we carry guns. Hmm, if an Officer is pointing a gun at someone, if I were that someone, I'd stop what I was doing... But that's just me.

DON'T even TRY to correct others unless you know that your position is not only flawless, but feasible and correct.

By the way... who made this YOUR forum? The admin sure as hell didn't... And he's the one who pays for server space.

...And that's why no one can stand you.

Oh, that and the fact that you post upwards of 50 posts per day. And most are just replies to your past posts.

Boo-yah!

I tire of constantly correcting your lies and retard math. Here's the link from BART with the FACTS about their police force: http://www.bart.gov/about/police/aboutpolice.asp

If you work for the police, then you are the police.

I've already broken down the shifts and numbers too many times. I will not repeat myself again since I know that retards have a limited learning capacity.

Yes, I "purpose" (sic) a dramatic reduction in the BART police force. Does anybody who rides BART feel that 40 million dollars is a good deal for what they're getting? I think 4 million is more than adequate. There are 42 stations, not 42,000 stations. This expenditure is ludicrous. We only need a FEW GOOD cops, not 300 crappy cops getting stupid rich off taxpayer money.

Your ignorance and stupid/bad cop mentality also shows in your discussion of crime and shift scheduling.
Keep talking (although you promised to stop already, of course I'd expect no less than lies from a cop) and you'll continue to do my job for me.

Thank you PP.

No, not with you since you're not even with yourself ("This is my last reply to ANY of your posts. Is anyone else with me?") and yet you're still replying. Guess you were just trying to stir things up for some reason, again. Actually, no big deal as you are entitled to your opinion just as anyone else is entitled to theirs, but it is interesting how some of you attempt to discourage posting and attack rather than rationally addressing the subject. Again, you are certainly free to do so, just an observation.

PPID911 is PISSED!
I don't think anything is wrong with that.
Here's my take......

He, as he has said, is a cop.
You, Big, have pretty much bashed cops. You've been especially rough on BART cops.

Cops are different people, they 'aint like regular folk, for good or bad. They actually kind of dig what they do. Most cops I know, and have known since I was a kid, have always wanted to be cops.
ALWAY'S!! Rare Breed.

So, you have to expect a response from them when you bash 'em.
Over and over and over and over.

PPID911 can be harsh,
(re: "I hate the jbap21" club). But, this site seems to be a regular haunt of his and has contributed some pretty good stuff.

As for "stirring it up"
Well, 'aint that the pot throwing rocks at glass houses....er The kettle calling the pot a rock.
I know you know what I'm saying.
Don't be a dick.....
jbap21

I hearya jbap. Yeah, I admit, I don't like cops in general, although some of my best friends are cops. I consider them "good" cops in a sea of bad ones. I know that mostly they're just doing their jobs and that the job itself sucks - even though they are granted HUGE leeway to do it as they see fit, and usually that ends up being in an abusive manner.

I didn't really start this to bash BART cops, it just seemed to naturally flow from the outcry for MORE JBT presence leading to my observation that there's already tons of BART cops at an IMMENSE expenditure on the BART balance sheet/paid for by taxpayers and that I think we just need a complete revamping of the cop system to provide better crime deterrence than the hemorrhagically tragic excuse that 40 million dollars and 300 BART cops pass off as "security" now.

I've got less against cops than I do against legislators. The cops are generally just their lap dogs I know. But I do still feel that they're overpaid for what they do and are generally lazy in their "prevention" techniques and getting their "presence" noticed.

For example, I was on BART yesterday and an officer with a K-9 unit passed through the train while it was underway. I thought this was a brilliant counterpoint to the typical fare that I notice from BART cops. I applaud the show and effort. I'm assuming it was a bomb sniffing dog. I'd like to see a lot more of that if we are to BE truly safe and not just FEEL safe because we up our cop expenditure to 100 million with 10,000 cops, one for each square yard of BART space.

As for shit stirring, that's kind of my hobby, although PP started name calling long before I.

boopiejones's picture

every job has good and bad employees. cops are obviously more high profile than say, insurance adjusters, so you hear about the screw ups more. plus, cops deal with the scum of the earth on a day to day basis. i'd be willing to bet that there are insurance adjusters that screw people over every chance they get, but you're not going to hear about that crap on the news. there are also lazy insurance adjusters, but you wont hear about that shit either. "damn good for nothing donut eating insurance adjusters" isn't a common saying, but it should be.

Whoa, don't get me started on insurance adjusters. Talk about parasites on society. Those motherfuckers get rich off of the basest of human tragedies.

How can you say we never hear about bad insurance adjusters? I hear about nothing BUT bad insurance adjusters! They also seem to make the news at least as much as bad cops. I hear about them getting busted for violations all the time and getting sanctioned by commissioners and oversight bodies.

Of course those fucking bloodsuckers don't carry guns, have Nazi attack dogs and drive giant luxury sedans full of weapons on the taxpayer dime. They also actually have oversight bodies and regulations they must follow. Cop lawlessness seems to go virtually unchecked (did you read the Chronicle series on the use of force? http://www.sfgate.com/useofforce/ )

But I think this is the wrong forum for insurance adjuster bashing.

boopiejones's picture

maybe insurance adjusters wasn't the best example. how about bank tellers? i am sure there are some that screw people out of money, stealing improperly endorsed checks and such. you can argue that you have heard stories about naughty tellers too, but i think you get the point: a main part of a cop's job is dealing with criminals. criminals that taunt them, kick them, try to run away, etc. when you deal with assholes on a regular basis, eventually you might lose it. more importantly, some of the cop beatings are taken out of context - the bystanders camera doesn't start rolling until after the cop was spit on, kicked in the nuts, etc.

Criminals TAUNTING the police! Where are you hanging out Boopie?

Getting kicked in the nuts? Have you ever seen or heard of that happening? Aren't cops wearing cups and bullet proof vests? Aren't they specially trained to NOT get kicked in the nuts? Isn't that what they signed up for? Doesn't the expectation come with the badge?

A cop's job is to protect and to serve the public, although most cops DO NOT do that and most departments have even dropped it from their credo and removed it from their cars and literature. But we all continue to operate under that false assumption, don' we?

Who the hell are cops protecting when they arrest someone for a victimless crime? Those in power. They arrest drug dealers not to protect the public, they arrest drug dealers because drug dealers cut in on their monopoly. The CIA is the biggest drug dealer in the world, exposed time and again. Pharmaceutical company's are the crookedest bunch of poisonous drug pushers. The police themselves are HIGHLY self interested in using anti-drug law to enrich their own coffers and grow their forces. The list goes on forever of who in government and big business benefits from criminalizing "drugs." So I can hardly feel bad for a cop who is enforcing such evil, self-interested laws.

Now the occasional assault is probably usually a drunk, tweaked or mentally ill person who needs medical and mental health care as well as drug rehabilitation care, NOT a beat down and a skull fracture.

I do not forgive police for treating everybody like pieces of shit just because they have to clean up the addicts and mentally ill bums that Reagan loosed upon the streets. That is their choice and their job. It does not excuse their aggression and abuse of authority.

Real criminals like murderers, rapists, child molestors, muggers, burglars, etc. who do harm the public and private individuals do not TAUNT the police or generally assault the police. They're too busy running for their lives and their freedom.

boopiejones's picture

Watch an episode of cops. there is plenty of taunting/nut kicking going on. it doesn't matter if the taunt/kick to the nuts comes from a drunk driver or a rapist, it is a taunt/kick to the nuts nonetheless. if someone does something illegal, they are a criminal. period. it doesn't matter what law they broke. the job of the police is to enforce those laws.

obviously, the beatdown reaction is not the proper route for a cop to take, but sometimes people overreact. remember when T.O. ran to the dallas "star" with the ball after scoring a touchdown? i seem to recall someone running up and smacking him. techincally, all TO did was "taunt" the opposing team/fans, he really wasn't hurting anyone. a victimless crime and much less painfull than a kick to the nuts (with or without the cup) but guess what? someone overreacted and hit him for it. i can name thousands of similar situations. you may not like it, but people overreact and shit happens. we are human, nobody's perfect, and all those cliches...

i believe that one of the first replies you ever received on bartrage went something like this: "if you don't like it, don't ride bart." or maybe it was go back to boston? so as for the rest of your comment (the part about the drug dealing cia) - if you don't like it, don't live here. there are hundreds of other countries where you can live, some of which allow you to buy drugs in coffee shops and others that put you in jail and cane your ass for chewing gum in public. we fall somewhere in the middle. pick one.

with that, this blog officially has nothing to do with bart, so i'm out unless someone says something profound (or taunts me).

I've watched COPS, even though I find it sickening, and I've never seen what you're referring to. But I'm definitely not a regular viewer, so I may be mistaken. I just see poor bastards running as fast as they can or being wasted or getting busted having sex.

I have on the other hand personally and on the NEWS seen countless instances of cop beatdowns that frequently resulted in hospitalization, maiming and death.

"People overreact and shit happens"...cops overreact and people die.

I don't like it here, but I'm not content to give up. I'm not a quitter. I don't run from a challenge or a fight. I'm here exercising my Constitutionally protected first amendment right because I believe America is capable of regaining its former glory as a true world leader. I'm not content to "fall somewhere in the middle."

By the way, I don't do drugs or drink coffee. I definitely agree that my continual efforts to pull the wool off people's eyes about the true nature of cops and the structure of society has drifted quite a ways from my discussion of how to make BART free and better.

I only raised the cop issue because I think 40 million dollars a year for BART police is obscene and needs trimming. All the scared, whining, punks so desperately in need of protection from taxpayer supported Jack Booted Thugs to protect them from the "bad" element because they buy into the media hype and prefer to huddle in their cubicles instead of conversing with their fellow human being...well, they keep crying for more money to be thrown at their perceived sense of security based on nothing as far as I can see.

I'm just advocating trimming some unnecessary fat from the BART budget so that the public can ride free. I'm back on track.

What kind of world do we live in? Big Daddy, you are truely a piece of shit! Police Officer put thier lives on the line everyday, so your fat no job having ass, can freeload off society. You want to make a differance, Police Departments are hiring all across the Bay Area, apply for a job,with any of them--I dare you. While cops go to work everyday, to try and make society a little safer, your too busy, living off the dole and trying to get free ride for you and your women on wheels!

Everyday Police officers try and make things better, what do you do? Try and get more free shit, from the tax payer. You really are nothing more, than a piece of shit. Go get a life and a job or better yet do a ride along with a Police department and see how wrong you are. I now delcare you not relevant, to BART Rage or society.

Just me and my hard earned two cents. When your walfare check arrives and you cash it, you can add your 2 cents.

Okay fuckhead, first, learn how to spell. Second, get your fucking facts straight. Learn to think independently and not just lap up the pap that passes for news these days. Cops aren't even in the top 10 most dangerous jobs.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10725454/

I respect the hell out of fisherman and construction workers. Fireman, cab drivers and convenience store clerks earn kudos from me. I applaud agricultural workers. But somebody who wants to carry a gun and ride around in air conditioned comfort all day and throw other human beings in cages earns only my suspicion.

As for joining the cops, I steer clear of any gang related activity. I prefer to think for myself, not follow the mob blindly. I also don't believe in taking human life. I certainly don't have ANY faith in the criminal justice system and so wouldn't hypocritically support it. I also don't much care for the work legislators are doing these days, so I wouldn't choose to do their dirty work for them.

I even felt so strongly about it I ran for public office. That's how I tried to make a difference. What the fuck have you done to better society lately fuckhead?

Freeload off society? I'm trying to make the world a better fucking place. Just because I choose to live within my means off student loans doesn't make me any less of a member of this society than you.

So go back to your miserable job and your miserable life and maybe someday you'll be able to afford a clue.

PPID911 is PISSED!
I don't think anything is wrong with that.
Here's my take......

He, as he has said, is a cop.
You, Big, have pretty much bashed cops. You've been especially rough on BART cops.

Cops are different people, they 'aint like regular folk, for good or bad. They actually kind of dig what they do. Most cops I know, and have known since I was a kid, have always wanted to be cops.
ALWAY'S!! Rare Breed.

So, you have to expect a response from them when you bash 'em.
Over and over and over and over.

PPID911 can be harsh,
(re: "I hate the jbap21" club). But, this site seems to be a regular haunt of his and has contributed some pretty good stuff.

As for "stirring it up"
Well, 'aint that the pot throwing rocks at glass houses....er The kettle calling the pot a rock.
I know you know what I'm saying.
Don't be a dick.....
jbap21

i'll have to agree with jpab and 911 here guys. big's constant diatribe against bart pd has him asking for it. well i dont think that anyone is stirring up anything but big. and 911 seems to know what she (i think?) is talking about usually . yeah my sister's a cop they do have the feeling in their bones that what they do is destiny.

I would like to point out that while I've been slammed for being a "career student" a "Bostonian" a "disabled person" a "liberal" a "socialist" and other things, that did not cause me to fly into a psychotically defensive, name-calling, hypersensitive rage. Does anybody else notice how vehemently PP "doth protest?"

You noticed that too, huh? "No, not with you since you're not even with yourself ("This is my last reply to ANY of your posts. Is anyone else with me?") and yet you're still replying." I'm glad somebody else is paying attention.

I agree, I don't think the federal government would look too kindly on us axing the police force in these times. If anything, as lazy as the police are, homeland security would probably shell out as much money as necessary to keep BART secure. After the London Subway bombings, it really brings to light how vulnerable BART could be to a terrorist attack. In which case, the cops would probably get off their asses and earn their pay.

I've been on trains that were subjected to the dog searches and stuff (possible training excersizes?), so I'm assuming the police are prepared for more that littering citations and parking tickets.

And to suppliment my above post, the police aren't there merely to meet the demands of an average day. They need to be adequately equipped to handle the worst possible situation that could arrive. So if you see a cop just spacing out, that dosen't mean a firing is necessary.

I'm perfectly fine letting BART officers dick around all day (or whatever 'lazy' claims we've made on them) for months on end. And as little faith as I may have in them, when that critical life-threatening event finally occurs, I know they'll be there to protect me. Yea axing police will save us money, and BART won't turn into some 3rd world country necessarily. But I much rather prefer the knowledge that if by some small chance a lowlife criminal pulls a gun on me one night, that "lazy, bum of an officer" will be there to stand in between me and the gun.

Someone mentioned above that police officers are of a different breed of people. And I like the idea of them offsetting my cowardice :)

"But I much rather prefer the knowledge that if by some small chance a lowlife criminal pulls a gun on me one night, that "lazy, bum of an officer" will be there to stand in between me and the gun."

Right. Just be sure to ask the lowlife if you can call BART police on your cell phone and if he wouldn't mind waiting 10-15-20 minutes for the BART officer to drive in from another station a stop or two down the line. And, good luck, you're likely to need it. I'd guess that the small chance is more likely to be that a BART police officer will be near enough to help you.

ekliptikz's picture

I've never been to a station and not seen at least 1 officer on my way to or from that station.

I'm very sorry that you live in such a "heavily patrolled" area. What stations do you frequent? Do you feel safer knowing the BART police are at the station?

Yeah, London bombings suck, but what is the likelihood of that? 1 in a million? 1 in a billion? 1 in a trillion? Let's see, it happened once in London, once in Japan, I'm sure there was another 1 or 2 - out of how many train rides? 100 trillion? I'd think the chances of getting struck by lightning are significantly higher. Should we spend millions on anti-lightning strike technology? Should we post lightning watchers on every hill to ring the alert signal if they see lightning approaching?

Do you really feel safer from a terrorist attack on BART knowing that if you pick up a white phone a BART cop will probably show up in 10-25 minutes to "take a report?" As I said, the dog pass through the train was great, but was that one time really an effective terrorist prevention campaign? I'm all for investing in electronic explosive/biochemical sensors at BART entrances, but I know those dogs cost like a million dollars to train. That seems like a waste as their working lifespan is limited and they can be defeated.

Point is, I don't feel any safer at all from a terrorist attack, and if all those cops are waiting around for that, then they can go on home and be "on call" employees only. If there needs to be planning in place for those true "emergency" situations, couldn't that be when there would be obvious overlap with local authorities? Should NYC increase their emergency personnel by 10,000% to be "prepared" for the next 9/11?

I'm not saying that cops need to be scrubbing floors and searching handbags all day. I'm just saying that I think 40 million dollars a year to maintain the BART police force is pretty ridiculous for what I see, or don't see them doing.

"I'm perfectly fine letting BART officers dick around all day... for months on end." That's a little too generous in my opinion for 40 million taxpayer dollars per year. And why do they always act like such dicks? How about a little courtesy, geniality, politeness?

Back to my Boston roots, we had a saying that filtered down through a government campaign of bumper stickers and the like to make rageful drivers more polite. "A little courtesy won't kill you." It seems a good adage for all humans and human endeavors. Something along the lines of the new saying I like "what would Jesus do?" If such an attitude can't be espoused by those who are supposed to represent role models in our society, then what hope do we have?

How many trains are running on the system at any given time during peak and off peak hours? 5, 10, 50? I'd guess like 10 or 15 during off peak and maybe 2 or 3 times that during peak? My point is, why couldn't there be one cop per train? Wouldn't that serve to keep a cop close to every train and station at all times?

I am not sure if I follow any of Big Daddy’s logic.

Only once in history have terrorist flown airplanes in to buildings, yet millions of flights take off and land without event. Should we then stand down, and let whatever happens, happen. Or do we keep alert and keep homeland security a priority? I stand on the side of keeping up our defenses.

I can’t understand if he thinks BART cops are lazy asses (as he often states) or Jack Booted Thugs (his other term for them). I believe the two aware mutually exclusive of each other. When I hear the term Jack Booted Thug, I think of someone who is excessive and out abusing people’s constitutional and civil rights. A lazy ass, on the hand, is someone who does not do a thing, even when it happens right in front of them.

As for having a cop on every train, when I listen to the traffic reports on the radio, during commute they report that BART has 60 trains on time. One cop per train equals 60 cops. I recall Big Daddy saying we need to reduce the police force to about 30 cops. I don’t know how this is ever going to work. This still leaves the stations and parking lots unattended.

If I were making an assumption, I bet you would be one of the first to going crying to, or screaming for the police, when some gang banger assaults or robs you. As for you carrying a firearm (as stated in the other posts “My advice is for everyone to carry a gun and know how to use it”) the first rule in handling it a gun is “NEVER POINT IT AT ANYTHING YOU DON”T INTEND TO KILL”. To again quote Big Daddy “I also don't believe in taking human life”. Big Daddy you better not ever arm yourself, because the criminal will take your gun away, and will kill you.

This whole idea of the CIA, and the government being the biggest drug pusher around, what a crock. I bet you believe we should legalize all drugs, so we can control the sales, allow addicts access to them, tax them, and make money on the sales. Where the hell do you think the addict is going to get the money (they’re on drugs and unemployable)? By burglarizing your home or robbing you, that’s where.

Big Daddy, learn to follow your own logic and line of thinking. Stop posting without giving thought to what you have previously stated. Other people do. You’re slightly entertaining (you could fill in for Ray Taliaferro on the radio talk show) with all of the b/s you throw out there.

One other thing, stay in Berkeley, the real would is a dangerous place.

Pages