Discussion related to commuter rail and transit operators in California past and present including Los Angeles Metrolink and Metro Subway and Light Rail, San Diego Coaster, Sprinter and MTS Trolley, Altamont Commuter Express (Stockton), Caltrain and MUNI (San Francisco), Sacramento RTD Light Rail, and others...

Moderator: lensovet

  by aocon
Hi All, I wanted to know if bart had any rules against filming on the trains or in the stations. The reason that i am asking is yesterday (friday 13th) I was on bart going to downtown and when I was about to get off i heard the train operator say over the PA that there is no filming allowed on bart. But from what I know there is NO rule. Can anyone tell me if that is true? And if it is can they point me to that. Thanks

  by lensovet
From what I understand, no one really knows this for sure. But over on flickr, one user got this "official" response:
Linton Johnson, Chief Spokesperson, BART wrote:Mr. Hall,
In general, you are legally allowed to take pictures of anything you can see on BART with the naked eye for your private purposes, as long as you are in the free area (ie, outside the fare gates). The same applies in the paid area (inside the faregates) as long as you are ticketed passenger and you are specifically going from point A to point B. You do not need a photography permit to do this. However, without one, you are subject to interrogation by BART employees, who may ask you to leave the premises or to stop taking pictures. Technically, they can legally interrogate you, however, they cannot legally tell you to stop taking pictures or remove you from the premises unless you are taking pictures of sensitive areas or you are violating another rule such as impeding the flow of customers, etc. Again, this ONLY applies if you are taking pictures for your personal use, and your primary motivation to be on BART is to travel from point A to point B.

But, if you are taking pictures as part of a group, a school project, or for or on behalf of an organization or company, you are required to have a permit. BART assess permit fees. The fees are based upon a number of factors, including, but not limited to, what the pictures will be used for, when and where the photography shoot will take place on BART property, the number of crew members for the shoot, the number of BART personnel needed to facilitate the shoot and the BART equipment needed for the shoot such as train car rental, station rental, etc.

You may contact my office if you believe you need a permit.

Have a good weekend!

Linton Johnson
Chief Spokesperson
Department Manager
BART Media & Public Affairs
300 Lakeside Drive
18th Floor, Suite #1849
Oakland, CA 94612
510-464-7139 Desk
510-209-7409 Mobile
510-464-7103 Fax
510-899-2285 Pager (Best Way to Reach Me)
[email protected]
If you're really curious, you might want to just email her directly and find out for yourself.

  by aocon
Thanks for finding that. I just remember that a classmate of mine works for bart as maintenance on the cars so what i am going to do is give him a call and see what he says about this. The only thing that i can see as a place they have to stop is in "sensitive areas". IE maybe in the control cab or maybe a open fare gate. But I will see what else i can get from my classmate.


  by Easy
That email sounds like a specific persons interpretation of the official policy and the meaning of parts of it aren't entirely clear. If they have specific rules regarding photography they should post them on their website to clear up any confusion.

  by lensovet
sure, but he IS the chief spokesperson...
Last edited by lensovet on Sat Jul 21, 2007 4:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

  by transitteen
Just wanted to point out that Linton Johnson is a HE... quite a nice guy...

As part of work I did have to set up filming of someone using a TVM and boarding a train. BART did seem friendly about it, setting me up with a contact in their Media and Public Affairs Deparment... faxing me a letter of authorization... and sending out a supervisor to greet us at the station to make sure everything was alright. The station agent was also emailed so they knew to expect us. We were at Lake Merritt right under the BART PD headquarters but no one seemed to give us any trouble. The supervisor was not authoritative at all. He just watched and gave us some advice on places to shoot things in the station. Looks like it was a well run operation.