The newest measures are a response to rider concerns expressed in surveys and elsewhere, according to Alvarez. Earlier this year, BART announced that BART officers and fare inspectors would work extra hours to enhance public safety, a reaction to an officer shortage. BART police are now on a hiring spree.
Alvarez was credited with creating momentum in recruiting more officers. BART has hired “more officers in 2019 than it did in the previous two years combined,” BART General Manager Robert Powers said in a statement.
“This is a new day for the BART Police Department,” said Alvarez. “We need to own the concerns of our riders. The first step is getting more officers on the trains and platforms and showing our riders BART Police is here for you and you are not alone the moment you step onboard a train.”
BART Board President Lateefah Simon credited Alvarez for making the Ambassador program a reality and praised his “openness to different ideas to make the system safe,” according to the transit agency.
“These are unprecedented times…the number of people experiencing houselessness is impacting our system. We need equitable, holistic, compassionate programs that are data-driven,” said Simon.