The BART Board of Directors unanimously voted Thursday to amend the agency's customer code of conduct to prohibit sexual harassment.
The board voted on the amendment after BART partnered with the advocacy coalition the Alliance for Girls to launch the Not One More Girl campaign, which focuses on ending gender-based violence and harassment against women, non-men and children on public transit.
Last fall, BART added a question to its rider surveys to ask whether riders had been sexually harassed while riding BART in the past six months.
According to the agency, 10% of respondents between October and December said "yes."
"Our acknowledgement -- but moving past acknowledgement -- our understanding how to begin to repair harm that adults, oftentimes, invoke on other young people, young women ... is an amazing, amazing thing," Board Director Lateefah Simon said. "I'm so excited that as we think about how we reimagine safety for all of our riders, that we move beyond the old way of thinking. It's going to take all of us to keep us safe."
As part of the campaign, BART added "sexual harassment" as a reporting category on its BART Watch mobile app, which allows riders to discretely report misconduct on the agency's trains.
BART also plans to hire young people that will serve on hiring panels for unarmed safety staff that will work to ensure riders feel safe aboard BART.
Board Director Janice Li argued that the code of conduct amendment and the Not One More Girl campaign are both steps toward helping women and non-men who are harassed aboard BART feel less powerless.
"I think that feeling of powerlessness is just so pervasive amongst women and girls who are harassed," she said prior to the board's vote. "This is why I'm looking forward to saying 'yes' today to this change in the customer code of conduct and saying 'yes, we have the power to make this change'."
Information about the Not One More Girl campaign and resources for those who have experienced gender-based violence can be found at https://www.bart.gov/guide/safety/gbv.