BART Driver Delivers Morbid Rush Hour Lecture

Categories: BART, WTF?

2563458576_c79b490a93.jpg
Flickr/juicyrai
BART commuters looking depressed as they stand behind the yellow line
It's true that you never know what you will see, smell, or hear once you step onto a BART train. But what you do know is that, more often than not, those sights, sounds, and -- especially -- scents originate from your eclectic fellow passengers.

But that all changed last night when I hopped a Millbrae-bound BART train during rush hour, and was greeted by the train operator's macabre soliloquy.

See Also: This Is Why Everyone On BART Hates You

The train arrived at the Montgomery Street station, and as more and more people pushed their way onboard, two things became apparent: 1. There was no room left, and; 2. Commuters forcing their way onto the train didn't care that there was no room left. That's when the operator got on the loudspeaker and warned everyone to step back, the doors would be closing in "5, 4, 3, 2, 1."

Maybe some people stepped back, but not nearly enough -- and not behind the yellow line on the BART platform.

At that point, the BART operator returned to the loudspeaker and managed to get everyone's attention when he explained in a detached tone exactly what would happen if they didn't step behind the yellow line on the platform.

He said something along the lines of, you'll end up "underneath the train" and then they'll have to come "scoop you up" and take you to wherever it is you need to go. He continued explaining that this scenario will do nothing but "keep the rest of us waiting" -- perhaps for hours.

That's a long time to think about being scooped up off the tracks.

Passengers seemed conflicted by this tough-love approach to keeping commuters from falling off the platform: The train car was filled, simultaneously, with amused chuckles and disbelieving grunts.

The train grew silent again, and, as we made our way to Powell Street, I wondered if others aboard were thinking the same thing I was: Well, there's one BART operator who needs a vacation.





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11 comments
DavidElliottLewis
DavidElliottLewis

Good for this driver.  After hearing news reports about people falling in front of trains, I will keep my distance from the edge.  

I fear that even standing at the edge of the yellow line is hazardous.     

David Elliott Lewis, a San Francisco resident for 3 decades.

Daniel Ames
Daniel Ames

WOW. I can't believe that this is actually an article that got published. Way to have nothing interesting to say.

sfhrod
sfhrod topcommenter

That should be in the Bart operator handbook.

Félix Hernández-Rodríguez
Félix Hernández-Rodríguez

Just a quick thought. I read your article about the BART operator giving a lecture as to why ought people stand behind the yellow line when the train is approaching. One thing I try to keep in mind is that the yellow line might not be a fool-proof way to prevent people being run over by the train. As it has happened people have been pushed in, some have lost consciousness or balance, others have been pushed by the wind (happened some time ago to a baby on a stroller[the baby survived, though]). So by no means do I think that it is a fool-proof method to prevent accidents. Nevertheless, it is important to think from the perspective of the driver of the train. I think your article, especially the last line about the driver needing a vacation, belittles this important thing. I am certain you will not have a good time if you were a driver and someone, just happened to bump into your train because he/she did not observe the necessary precautions. I submit that if that were to happen to you, you would probably need a vacation right away. The train was full; probably it was hot, stinky, and crammed. But reminding people, once in a while, about security measures and why they are there is a too important thing. Also, I believe that if the purpose of the article was to inform with a little jest, then it was either irresponsible of your part of not encouraging people to observe these rules because they keep people safe or it was ignorance from your part for not informing yourself about the reason rules, like 'stand behind the yellow line,' are so.

mrericsir
mrericsir topcommenter

Is there some reason we can't copy the rest of the world and put up barriers to prevent this?

Jethrop
Jethrop

Good? It's unreal how many people walk around completely asleep at the wheel. Get behind the yellow line means hey you stupid fucking asshole, GET BEHIND THE GOD DAMN LINE NOW!

Jan Blum
Jan Blum

The reporter things the BART guy needs a vacation. I think he should have been applauded for laying out the truth. In this instance it did not appear that anything less that a riot squad could have defused what was clearly a highly dangerous situation. This disinclination to consider repercussions of our actions is a very very strange phenom that is widespread in SF. I don't get what has happened to the sense of self-preservation that appears to be vanishing. We just aren't immortal, despite our wishes.

David Burrola
David Burrola

Also, anyone who holds the doors open and causes them to break and the train to be taken out of service should be banned from BART for at least 1 year.

Debbie DeArmon
Debbie DeArmon

Well...that operator was viewing this lack of following instruction much too often...and even adults need to be talked to like they were in elementary school. Good for that operator!!!

Munnir Khiar
Munnir Khiar

Better some tough love than learning the hard way

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