Well, the time has come.
Users of vaporizers — whether they're e-cigarettes or sneaky cannabis toking machines — are on official notice to cease, desist, and otherwise not use the smoking alternatives at BART stations.
This is not a new policy, but the transit agency posted signs in stations signaling this on Tuesday, and also took to social media to make the message clear.
[jump] This has been official BART policy for some time, though the agency is just putting the word out now. The signs first starting going up in Oakland, though the warnings not to vape “will eventually be in all stations and in trains,” Trost wrote us in an email.
Trost said 36 signs are installed in seven stations to date, and that's out of 45 total BART stations.
The ban on vapes and e-cigarettes came from a BART Board of Directors vote back in February. But why is BART installing signs only now? “Once the Board adopted the policy signs needed to be bid out, made, delivered and arranged for installation,” Trost said.
Fair enough. We don't yet live in a Star Trek-style utopia, where No-Vaping signs are beamed into existence out of thin air. Back in February, BART said the decision was the result of rider complaints (despite the relatively benign vapor associated with vapes, and e-cigarettes).
The action was taken to update BART's existing policy to be more in line with similar county and city-level bans, and as a courtesy to passengers who have expressed a desire for a consistent and comprehensive no-smoking policy.
“A number of complaints have reached the Board of Directors about people using electronic cigarettes and vaping devices on BART property,” said Director Robert Raburn. “Other transit providers have enacted similar prohibitions.”
New signage will be placed in stations and trains to ensure riders know about the new ban and police will issue warnings during a roll out period. The penalty will be $100 for first time offenders, $200 for a second violation within one year, and $500 for additional violations within 5 years.
Though the ban may mean more folks quickly stashing vapes in their pockets when BART police roll by, this isn't necessarily the end of all BART vaping.
Remember, BART bans graffiti too.
[h/t] Muni Diaries