BART board president wants passenger text-message line

Reporting an unruly passenger, malfunctioning train door or suspicious package on BART could be just a text message away.

Bob Franklin, president of BART’s board of directors, wants the agency to establish a text-message phone line that would allow passengers to immediately alert the agency about problems on the system. The text would be forwarded to a central call center where officials could allocate resources appropriately.

Initially, Franklin wants the line to operate on a pilot basis, with the resource focusing on a specific issue, such as cleanliness or security. If the service proves to be popular, the agency could expand it to include all facets of BART.

“This could be a simple way to engage our passengers in a meaningful way,” Franklin said.

Currently, if BART passengers witness something amiss with the system, they can alert a train operator or a station agent about the issue, or contact BART police at (510) 464-7000. They also can fill out comment cards, a time-consuming task that many riders pass up, Franklin said.

“Many of our passengers want to add their feedback about BART but don’t have time,” he said. “The text-message line could solve that problem.”

Interim General Manager Sherwood Wakeman said the agency would begin investigating the proposal.

Muni recently set up a similar system to report graffiti and other acts of vandalism aboard its vehicles. While experiencing initial hiccups — the line was mistakenly left inactive for two months — the agency has called it a crucial tool for fighting crime.

New state proposals create an uncertain future for S.F.’s universal health care

‘Why should The City pay for health care if their residents can get it from the state?’

S.F. extends program supporting workers recovering from COVID-19

San Francisco will provide an additional $5.4 million to extend through June the Right to Recover program, which provides financial…

Can S.F. beat L.A.? It’s good news and bad news

Niners fans driving ticket prices through the roof for NFC Championship Game