An East Bay woman was calling out BART Thursday after one of the transit agency's employees did not allow her 11-year-old son to ride home because he was 40 cents shy of the ticket price.
Catalina Ocampo of Richmond wants the BART employee fired after her son Sebastian was kicked out of the BART MacArthur station in Oakland, putting him in danger and leaving him with no way to get home to Richmond.
Ocampo recalled the frantic call she received in the middle of work on Tuesday. Sebastian, a sixth grader at Oakland Military Institute, told her that a BART employee had asked for his Clipper Card at the station.
"They were like, 'Oh you can’t go because you don’t have 40 cents; you have to have more money to go in,'" Sebastian recalled. "I didn’t have no money, no nothing, everything was in my Clipper Card."
Sebastian said he was escorted out and had to figure out how to get back home to Richmond. He said he was scared someone might hurt him.
"It’s extremely upsetting for us to hear that," BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said. "That’s not what we are here to do."
BART said what the employee should have done was give Sebastian a pay voucher.
"A pay voucher that says you owe us 40 cents and then continue on your trip," Trost said. "We don’t want anyone being kicked out, especially an 11-year old."
BART says it is investigating and still working on identifying the station agent involved. The agency said employees should use discretion when it comes to children, even if there is fare evasion involved, and make sure they have a way to get home safely.