John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.
Notices around the transit system warn of penalties for puffing on e-cigs.
Attention teens and futuristic bounty hunters, your days of huffing and puffing on the train are numbered. New signs that BART has rolled out through the Bay Area specifically target your cottony, fruit-flavored emissions:
The signs went up after the transit system approved an ordinance banning e-cigarettes and other vaping gadgets earlier this year. BART explained at the time:
The action was taken to update BART's existing policy to be more in line with similar county and city-level bans, and as a courtesy to passengers who have expressed a desire for a consistent and comprehensive no-smoking policy.
“A number of complaints have reached the Board of Directors about people using electronic cigarettes and vaping devices on BART property,” said Director Robert Raburn. “Other transit providers have enacted similar prohibitions.”
It’s unknown whether this prohibition will be hardily enforced, but for those who want to see what blowing a big wad of fog at a BART cop will get you, it’s $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second in a year, and $500 for more infractions within five years.
The signs might not please those craving an 80-mph nicotine fix, but judging from complaints on Twitter they’ll be a welcome development for many:
Hey maybe don't be that asshole vaping on BART? And yelling about how you can't get fined because it's not smoking?— Alexa Ray Corriea (@AlexaRayC) October 3, 2015
I really hate that this guy is vaping on bart.When did this become a cool thing to do?— Brandon Asomugha (@blvckoutbrandon) October 13, 2014
Um is vaping allowed inside BART stations?! I don't what to breathe what you're breathing out.— Jenne Raub (@jenneraub) October 10, 2015
I will have my Red Bull because the bart worker over there is vaping on the train.— Cody Tatman (@codytatman) February 26, 2015
This woman is vaping on BART...are you serious rn 😑— Alec Bender (@bendicles) May 21, 2015
Loooool Bart train conductor just said no vaping on the train— Paolo Bautista (@agentpb_) August 30, 2015
(That last photo is from a site called BART Idiot Hall of Fame.)