Five recent protests cost BART about $300,000 total

Police, BART employess and members of the public stand on the Platform of the Civic Center BART station on August 29th./File
Ashley Chen

Recent protests against Bay Area Rapid Transit have not only been taxing on commuters but also on the transportation agency itself, which paid personnel about $300,000 for working overtime during five protests in July and August, according to Bob Franklin, president of BART’s Board of Directors, The Bay Citizen reported Tuesday.

And when BART protests leaked into the streets of downtown San Francisco, the San Francisco Police Department usually arrived to make sure the protesters did not block traffic. The protests between July 11 and Aug. 29 cost the police department almost $100,000 in regular and overtime spending combined, according to a document provided by the department.

Protests began after an incident on July 3 when BART police fatally shot a homeless man named Charles Hill, after he allegedly attacked them with a knife.

Protests escalated Aug. 11 when BART temporarily shutdown cell phone service in downtown San Francisco stations for three hours to thwart a planned effort by protesters to communicate their strategy.

The last protest Monday showed significantly smaller numbers maxing out at about 40 protesters, including members from No Justice No Bart and Anonymous, according to BART spokesperson Luna Salaver.

Franklin said he thinks that instead of protesting and inhibiting commuters from going home, protesters should bring their complaints to the BART board meetings.