BART today unveiled a new program that will take more than 60 of the agency's police officers out of their cars and place them on bicycles starting this summer.
The program, announced at an event at the North Berkeley BART station this morning, will eliminate the use of 30 cars, BART spokesman Linton Johnson said.
The average officer drives about 70 miles a day, which equates to about nine tons of pollution per year per vehicle, Johnson said.
He said the program "will give our officers more visibility with our customers" and "enhance our efforts to get more green" in the spirit of Thursday's Earth Day celebration.
Starting sometime over the summer, the first set of officers will use bikes to patrol BART stations and parking lots.
Johnson said bicycle enforcement could deter theft at the stations because "a thief trying to do something won't recognize a bike cop approaching them as quickly as a police car approaching them."
The program is spearheaded by police Lt. Bill Schultz, who joined Johnson and BART board vice president Bob Franklin, who chairs the board's sustainability/green committee, at today's unveiling.
The program will be paid for by $92,000 in state grant money, Johnson said. Eventually, 24 community service officers and 40 sworn police officers will participate.