New law means BART can't cite juvenile fare cheats

BART wants to spend millions of dollars to help end fare cheating, but it turns out a new state law renders them powerless to punish gate-jumping juveniles.

The law, which took effect in January, says:

"Those under 18 years of age cannot be arrested or cited for fare evasion."

SB882 was written by Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), who says the bill is aimed at keeping juveniles from racking up misdemeanor arrests on their records just for jumping fare gates.

BART hasn't issued a single citation to a juvenile fare jumper this year. The organization says fare evaders are costing them $25 million a year.

Just last month a mob of 40-plus kids jumped the gates, took over a train car, robbed the passengers, and committed a number of other crimes.

BART officials say the new law doesn't mean freeloading juveniles will get a free pass though. Station agents and police can refuse entry juveniles who don't have a ticket, and BART can eject fare evaders from the system.

All this to keep the records of young people clean. How about teaching kids to be decent and responsible instead of enabling them?

Read more at the SF Chronicle.

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