Cellphone service could still be shut down in BART stations — but only under extraordinary circumstances — if a policy resolution is approved next week by the agency’s board of directors.
BART has come under intense national and international criticism for its decision to shut down cellphone service Aug. 11 in order to quell a planned protest.
BART said that activists — angry at the agency for the shooting death of a 45-year-old man by department police officers — were planning on causing major service disruptions on that day.
While the backlash for that move has been fierce, the agency has said that shutting down cellphone service in its stations still remains an option, although the circumstances would have to be dire.
During an August board meeting, several BART directors conceded that the agency overreacted in its decision to shut down cell service. At that meeting, the board made an informal decision to only shut down cellphone service in the wake of major “9/11” type events.
At its next board meeting, Oct. 27, the agency could enact that sentiment into official agency policy.
A resolution has been drafted on a new cellphone policy, with the agency pledging to shut down service only “in the most extraordinary circumstances that threaten the safety of District passengers, employees and other members of the public, the destruction of District property, or the substantial disruption of public transit service.”
If the nine-person board approves the measure, the cellphone policy will become official.