As my BART this morning entered Powell station, we heard an announcement. It was a simple, there are no trains going north on the Richmond line beyond El Cerrito Plaza. Sorry for the inconvenience. Right, like t hat is going to make any difference, the “sorry” that is, to those who can’t get to work on time or for those headed home after a long night shift. I suppose there are alternative buses, but that isn’t a portion of BART that I normally ride.
The “sorry for the inconvenience” bit–it could have been worse. Maybe. Kind of like having a mobility challenge and getting on BART only to find that both the escalators and the elevators are out at your destination station. Sorry doesn’t help you get to street level with a wheelchair or walker nor does it help a parent with a buggy and small children.
Today’s shut down was even uglier. For some reason there was a person on the tracks just short of the El Cerrito Plaza. Hit by a Warm Springs bound train, from what I can gather the person was killed instantly.
For those of you not familiar with BART – there are no street level stations. All the stations are either underground or on elevated platforms. It takes an effort to get on the tracks. One would have to jump down from boarding platform, or be pushed from the boarding platform. Did I mention these trains run via an electric third rail? There is absolutely no reason ever to be on the tracks. Admittedly, those who live in the Bay Area do not queue as well as traditional English but there is nowhere near the density of people on the platform as occurs in NYC or much pushing or shoving. Someone on the tracks falls into one of three categories; stupid behavior (the pushing, shoving, dares); “oh shit I dropped something” – which might also fall under stupid but doesn’t involve other people; and finally–deliberate action. I suspect the later in this case as the person was not in front of one of the platforms.
There was nothing further in the news after the tracks reopened for the second time (police and coroner activity shut even the one track open). It has made be cautious enough, at least for a while, to make sure that I am standing behind the yellow line….