Security to be increased at SFO BART station due to spike in homeless

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco International Airport is ready to make changes to deal with a spike in homeless people arriving on BART trains and sleeping in terminals.

As some homeless people made their pilgrimage from BART to the airport, SFO quickly realized the status quo was not working.

Airport officials say that homeless people are riding the last train south from the city to the airport and then looking for a place to sleep.

RELATED: Homeless a growing problem for SFPD at SFO

It's posing a security issue and problems with fare evasion and crime like stolen bags inside the airport.

Police surveillance video showing the bag thefts has proved to be a public relations nightmare for SFO.

The Airport Commission is set to approve a Memorandum of Understanding with BART today to increase security at the SFO BART station.

"This MOU specifically addresses security enhancements that will benefit both the airport and BART at the SFO BART station," Eva Cheong, SFO Director of Airport Services, told the commission.

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San Francisco International Airport is ready to make major changes to deal with a spike in homeless people arriving on BART trains and sleeping in terminals.



The deal includes adding a BART officer, sharing CCTV footage, giving BART access to airport communications and installing new barriers at the BART station.

This means airport staff will now see what BART has on their surveillance video.

"The cameras that are in here that previously BART only had access to, our airport security staff will have read-only access to that footage," explained SFO spokesperson Doug Yakel.

Every BART officer will now have a two-way system to communicate with airport staff and SFPD located at the airport.

RELATED: History of how many people are homeless in the Bay Area

As for the new barriers, they will be five-foot glass barricades to replace the smaller fare gates which are pretty easy to jump over. A stainless steel gate just as tall will replace the shorter ones and access is only given by the BART attendant.

The agreement is set for five years, costing the airport $2.84 million.

The first few changes will begin on August 1.

The station hardening will take about six to 12 months.

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