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Special BART board meeting to focus on safety

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BART new trains
The public was invited to tour three new BART trains at the Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre Station in Walnut Creek, Calif., on Saturday, October 15, 2016.

Rider safety will be the focus of a special BART Board of Directors meeting in Pittsburg on Thursday evening.

BART directors and the general public will have a chance at the meeting to discuss General Manager Grace Crunican’s recently-announced safety and security plan.

Crunican announced the plan on Aug. 6 in the wake of three homicides and other violent crimes that have occurred at BART stations in recent months, including the fatal stabbing of 17-year-old Nia Wilson at the MacArthur Station in Oakland on July 22.

BART Board President Robert Raburn said in a statement:

“The special time and location of this board meeting will give more members of the public the chance to share their thoughts about public safety directly with board members.”

Raburn said:

“We need their input as we take action to make BART safer.”

BART officials said the special meeting will include an update on the transit system’s proof-of-payment strategy.

They said there will be a presentation with citation data as well as a hearing on a request to hire more community service officers to expand the program, which was launched in January.

In addition, the board will get an update on efforts to modify station infrastructure to deter fare evasion. BART officials said the update is likely to include a discussion on whether to replace the system’s fare gates.

BART Police Chief Carlos Rojas is scheduled to present a report by the University of North Texas on the agency’s Police Department that includes recommendations for adequate police staffing at the agency.

BART officials said the meeting also will have an update on their efforts to increase parking around the new BART-to-Antioch line.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Thursday in the Pittsburg City Council Chambers on the third floor of 65 Civic Ave.

BART officials said the council chambers are a short walk from the Pittsburg Center Station on the new BART-to-Antioch line.

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