BART urging public to download crime reporting app

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Following Sunday's deadly stabbing at the MacArthur BART station in Oakland, passengers have had mixed reaction in terms of overall safety on-board trains.

RELATED: BART officials urge riders to be vigilant after violent stabbing that killed 18-year-old woman

"You're always on your toes, feeling like a little nervous," said Suisun City resident Jennifer Cluney. "I actually stopped taking BART during commute hours."

With nearly 450,000 riders on a daily basis, BART is renewing a push to promote its "BART Watch" app, which can be used to report suspicious activity and crime. Users can also upload photos.

While traveling on BART Tuesday afternoon, ABC7 News downloaded the app, followed the prompts and filed a test report in less than three minutes. However, if time is critical and you can't call police, safely use the on-board intercom or use the app itself, officials say, to get off the train immediately.

"Get up! Leave the train car if you think somebody is violent," said BART board president Robert Raburn. "You're not going to go walk by and say, 'Hold it, I'm going to go tell on you.' Just leave."

VIDEO: 'Remember Her' A tribute to Nia Wilson
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Nia Wilson was just 18 years old when she was killed in an unprovoked stabbing at MacArthur BART station in Oakland. Fighting through sorrow, her friends, family, and the community at large are mourning the teenager who brightened the lives of those she knew, and has inspired many who never got the chance.

Some riders say they already have BART police on speed dial and that they're reluctant to use the app.

"Maybe quieter to just report something on an app than to pick up a phone and talk to a person, but you never know, what's the response once it gets to BART?" said Cluney.

One rider, who didn't want to be identified, said, "I've had violent people come up to me, and I've had to call BART police on several occasions over the last four months, so it's been very, very scary to ride BART."

BART officials did not release response rates to ABC7 News, but says the app has been downloaded nearly 46,000 times since launching in August of 2014.

Right now, riders can't text police, but can send a note directly to dispatch through the app.

Click here for more information about the BART app.

Click here to make a donation to the GoFundMe page for Nia Wilson's family.

Go here for full coverage on the stabbing at Oakland's MacArthur BART station that took the life of 18-year-old Nia Wilson.

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