Home>Articles>New Golden Fleece Award Goes to BART for ‘Crime, Grime, and Greed’

A BART train approaching MacArthur station in June. (Photo: Wikipedia)

New Golden Fleece Award Goes to BART for ‘Crime, Grime, and Greed’

The heavily subsidized Bay Area Rapid Transit system needs competition and a profit motive

By Katy Grimes, January 25, 2022 7:11 am

The Bay Area Rapid Transit system has just received the California Golden Fleece® Award for its excessive employee compensation, reckless financial mismanagement, poor on-time performance, unsanitary conditions, and failure to prevent the system from becoming a magnet for criminals, the Independent Institute recently announced.

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At the root of BART’s poor performance is “a lack of market discipline, vigorous competition and a profit motive.” The Independent Institute says without competition and a profit motive, BART has been allowed to disregard the needs of customers and mismanage costs. “BART should not be permitted to continue failing Bay Area residents. A comprehensive accounting of its problems demonstrates the need for fundamental reforms and greater transportation options for Bay Area residents.”

The Independent Institute bestows its California Golden Fleece® Award on a state or local government spending program, tax, or regulation that fleeces California taxpayers, consumers, or businesses. Based on BART’s own metrics and performance standards, the system fails on every count, detailed in the new report Crime, Grime, and Greed at BART.

“BART provides residents of the San Francisco Bay Area with an expensive, poorly run, dangerous, and filthy transit system, despite receiving billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies. In 2022, its 50th year of operations, BART’s deficiencies signal the need for profound changes.”

Earlier this month, a woman was attacked with a box cutter on a BART train. Crime on the trains has been so prevalent, a 2019 grand jury report was issued showing that violent crime on BART increased by 115 percent over five years. The crimes included robberies, homicides, rapes and aggravated assaults, resulting in a drop in ridership on the system, CBS 5 reported.

San Francisco’s public transit BART system was even in hot water a few years ago for refusing to divulge the racial descriptors of those who have committed crimes out of fear of causing “racially insensitive commentary.”

“BART should not be permitted to continue failing Bay Area residents. Fundamental reforms are needed for improved rider safety and fiscal responsibility,” said Lawrence J. McQuillan, Independent Institute Senior Fellow and Director of the California Golden Fleece® Awards and coauthor of the report.

The Independent Institute offers a detailed history of the Bay Area Rapid Transit System, as well as recommendation to improve the perpetually plagued transit system. For successful transit systems, BART should look at Hong Kong and Tokyo’s rapid transit systems. “Both cities have private for-profit subway systems that are clean, safe, and reliable, with near-perfect on-time performance. Fares, which are not subsidized by the government, are typically lower than BART’s fares because of greater efficiencies.”

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7 thoughts on “New Golden Fleece Award Goes to BART for ‘Crime, Grime, and Greed’

  1. A well deserved award!

    “BART provides residents of the San Francisco Bay Area with an expensive, poorly run, dangerous, and filthy transit system, despite receiving billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies. In 2022, its 50th year of operations, BART’s deficiencies signal the need for profound changes.”
    The above statement is spot on and not hyperbolic!
    Let me add that drug addicts regularly are slumped in the corridors at many stations and do their drugs while riding the trains. As a rider, you have the pleasure of smelling pot, meth, urine and yes, poop! It’s the equivalent to a Disney “E” ticket ride and just as expensive.

  2. This is why I stopped riding bart. It’s disgusting and dangerous. Whole trains are empty except for one street creature that reeks of shit and chemicals. It’s never on time, constantly shut down, dangerous and disgusting. It’s also at least twice as expensive as driving and has no convenient way to get around, covers only a small part of the bay and doesn’t work half the time. Why would anyone waste their time and money when homeless criminals use it as a toilet while the rest of us are expected to pay for it?

    1. Cali Girl and Dan Ball,
      I wonder what happened to the legal concept of an “attractive nuisance?” Does it no longer exist, even in this era of “safety” we are suffocating under? I understood an “attractive nuisance” to be something dangerous that has to be removed, like a huge pile of dirt riddled with nails left behind by negligent builders on a residential street that would be attractive to neighborhood children, or like an abandoned building that has become a drug den, or an empty refrigerator left on the street. Sounds like from what has been described that BART definitely falls into this category.

      1. @ShowandTell,
        That would be a very good question for a personal injury lawyer.
        I believe with Chesa Boudin being installed to ignore all laws and doctrines concerning the safety of citizens, including Bart riders, it is intentional to further dismantle law and order. In turn the families and hard working residents have no choice but to leave San Francisco making it a progressive hell hole. A sanctioned C.H.A.Z./ C.H.O.P. A place where there are no victims, just misunderstood criminals doing as they please.

  3. Greedy, sorry fucks!! Worried about fare evaders, worry about the IMPORTANT shit! Fuckin lazy ass board members dont do shit, bit have a nice hefty salary AND benefits. Vote for unnecessary fare hikes, their asses dont even fide BART

  4. My question is: why did BART hire Carlos Rojas as police chief? He came in from Santa Ana after covering up for DEA drug running. Prior to that, he worked at the US-military funded school of the Americas and even was identified for gunrunning in Contragate during the Reagan admin. A strange choice for Bevan Dufty … or was it?

    Dufty was named by Leland Yee in the ShrimpBoy scandal, but for some reason Dufty’s pay-to-play wasn’t prosecuted by the FBI, when Leland Yee was sent to the Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth and infused with thorazine. Was this … because the FBI made a deal with Dufty so that he would emplace Rojas as BART Police chief?

    Those 2017 murders were REALLY STRANGE … they created pretext for replacing the dummy cameras on BART and for closing down the line for months allowing the upgrade of national security cable in the BART right-of-way between the CCH hub and the national Lab. National Security Camera shenanigans on BART go back to 1979 with the mysterious BART fire, which replaced the dry standpipes with Telco cable along the right of way between major Bay Area military installations.

    Something is not adding up here.

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