BART board member proposes fining BART seat hogs

Wednesday, March 9, 2016
EMBED <>More Videos

A BART board member is proposing a fine for riders who take up more than their fair share of seats.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- BART trains are getting more crowded, but not everyone is being a good sport about squeezing in to make room.

One BART board member is proposing a hefty fine for riders who take up more than their fair share of the seats.

After a long day at work, sometimes you just want to sit.

"If I need a seat, I need a seat, man," said one BART rider.

But seats are scarce on BART trains and for some people, one isn't enough.

"Like laying down and taking two seats. I see people putting their bags on the seat next to them," said BART rider Alix Charles.

In a train packed with standing passengers, a duffle bag was spotted Tuesday riding in first class. It's a common sight.

And then there's man-spreading. "Sometimes they're sitting like super wide stance, and a lot of women are like scrunched like this," said another BART rider.

In New York, hogging seats is such a problem they've made posters about it. But the Bay Area might take it a step further.

BART board member Joel Keller says right now there's nothing police can do. He's proposing a $100 fine for the first offense.

"Allow the police to enforce one seat, one rider," Keller said. "I'd rather have the police having a tool that would allow them to intervene, rather than these disagreements escalate into something more serious."

Pretty much everyone agrees hogging seats is rude, but as for whether it should be illegal, director Keller may be in the minority.

"We don't need no more tickets in society, man, we already paying enough taxes and got enough going on," said a BART rider.

"Probably not a good idea," a BART rider who identified herself as Scoot said. "We have enough laws."

There's concern it could hurt the homeless.

"Criticized for, omg he needs to go find a shelter, so what if he couldn't find a shelter? his shelter was this train," said BART rider Justice Cunningham

Keller says he'll work to ensure it doesn't target the homeless. He just wants people to have manners.

"I think they just are being lazy and not very nice," BART rider Wendy Spinale said.