BART to vote on policy for shutting down cell service 

BART will vote on a policy Thursday to determine when — if ever — it’s appropriate to shut down cellphone service in district stations.

The transit agency received international criticism following its decision on Aug. 11 to scramble cellphone service in its downtown San Francisco stations as a way to avert a planned protest. Activists were planning on demonstrating that day against the shooting death of 45-year-old Charles Hill by BART police officers.

During an August meeting, BART’s board of directors issued informal support for a plan to only shut down cellphone service in the event of a “9/11-type” emergency.

Thursday, the nine-person board will vote on an official resolution, stating that cellphone service will only be shut down in the event of “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.”

Following the decision to shut down cellphone service, BART was the subject of weekly protests organized by Anonymous, a loose collective of activists.

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Will Reisman

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