Contrary to how some riders feel when riding BART, the trains are pretty damn safe. At least that's what we gleaned from the latest news: The Transportation Security Administration gave BART the highest rating possible when it comes to keeping its passengers secure, despite all the assaults, shootings, knife-fights, and naked acrobats.
Now that's news.
According to a press release, the TSA awarded BART this "Gold Standard" rating for multiple reasons, including the transit agency's security plans, security training, drills/exercise programs, public outreach efforts, and finally, its background check programs.
Still confused, we contacted BART spokeswoman Luna Salaver to find out more about how safe we are on trains, however she told us that was a question for the TSA. So we contacted the TSA to ask the same question. Interestingly enough, the TSA told us that question was best for BART to answer.
What we do know is that after a comprehensive assessment of BART's security program (whatever that means), BART scored high across the board in the TSA's Baseline Assessments for Security Enhancement (BASE) program, which creates security standards for transit agencies across the nation.
According to the TSA, BART is one of 16 rail and mass transit agencies from across the nation to get the "Gold Standard" rating this year.
"Bay Area Rapid Transit is to be commended for their commitment and hard work that this level of achievement requires," said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole. "TSA commends these agencies for the continued dedication individual transit agencies demonstrate every day to ensure the security of travelers nationwide."
BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey was pretty stoked to hear the news himself. "We ask the public to continue to play a key role by reporting behavior or conditions that are suspicious to BART Police at 510-464-7000."