San Francisco enacts fines for seat hogs

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If you ride BART, chances are you've been there - you're forced to stand while someone else takes up more than one seat. That habit could soon cost riders some cash. (KGO-TV )

Officials in San Francisco are taking action to deal with seat hogs on city trains. BART, the city's transit agency, Thursday approved a plan to fine people who take up more than one seat during certain hours.

The fines are up to $500 for repeat offenders. The ordinance won't go into effect for a few months while BART police try to nail down how they plan to enforce it.

Some passengers call this overkill and say it's simply policing rudeness. Others who ride the packed trains are relieved to finally see some real consequences.

Sprawling across a row, manspreading, or placing a bag in an empty seat could be a pricey thing to do on BART. In a split vote, BART's board of directors approved a move to start ticketing seat hogs.

"People who put their feet on seats, they know it's not kind. It's bad manners," said one Oakland resident.

The new rule would only be enforced during commute hours from 6 to 10 a.m. and in the afternoon from 3 to 7:30 p.m.

Passengers who take up more than one seat would first get a warning. The next time, a $100 fine, then $200, then $500.

"I think that's crazy. I thank that's insane. That's a lot of money for you know, spreading out on a seat," said BART passanger Jennifer Sanan.

Others say the crackdown is long overdue.

"I think it's a great idea. I've noticed a lot of people taking up more than one space and it takes up a lot of room for the elderly people," said BART passenger Mike McClain.

"It's an inconvenience. It's rude more than anything, but to ticket repeat offenders, have fun with that," said BART passenger Adrian Delatorre. "I don't think it's going to be easy to enforce. I like the idea of it."

BART's police chief will draft an enforcement policy with those guidelines. Directors don't want to target the homeless, but force riders to share, or pay.
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