In a reasonable world, we would be allowed to throw smokers from the platform.

Last December I had to run into Sacramento a few times, so I took BART to Amtrak in Richmond. I found it really convenient, but I noticed every afternoon as I was making my return trip, people would be smoking on the Richmond BART platform. Well, this was my first experience with the Richmond station (though I've been a BART rider since 1985), and I just said "Well, that's Richmond for you. You can't expect the same cultural refinement and respect for authority that you would find at home in El Cerrito."

Which gets me today. This morning. About an hour and 45 minutes ago. There were two smokers on the El Cerrito Plaza platform. Two of them. They appeared to be unacquainted with one another, so I can only conclude that each of them came to the independent conclusion that El Cerrito was not the kind of place that was going to sweat a little carcinogenic toxic waste wafting over its morning commuters.

My first instinct was to remove the offenders by the most direct route possible, that being over the safety rail and downward towards the bus stop.

Then I remembered a sign I'd seen somewhere about "...assault on a BART passenger [something something] imprisonment..."

"How unfortunate," I said, "It always seems like it would be so easy to kill those wheezing hollow-eyed nicotine addicts, but nobody ever lets you do it. What would be the proper way to proceed then?"

I was honestly at a loss. So I joined this site. Now I know that in the future, I should use the white courtesy telephone and wait patiently for the smokers to die of natural causes.

I thank you all for this insight.

I agree, it's very annoying to have to walk through a cancer cloud just to get on your train. If BART police actually patrolled platforms on a regular basis, I think people would think twice (ok, maybe once) about lighting up. I also use EC Plaza station and I've never once seen a cop on the platform, and only on a train very rarely. Since they weren't even required to ride the trains until after the Oscar Grant deal(and now only required to ride for 2 hours a shift), they are slightly more visible now, but not to the level they should be, as on other major transit systems. Just my opinion....

Just be glad they weren't smoking *IN* the train. I've had that happen to me once, and I'm fairly certain I've read at least one anecdote of the same on this board. Sigh.