GET riders complain of panhandling around station

GET riders complain of panhandling around station »Play Video

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Some passengers who use the Golden Empire Transit District fleet say they are concerned about people who loiter near the downtown facility on Chester Avenue, specifically citing panhandling as one of the biggest problems.

GET public information officer Gina Hayden said Wednesday that GET employs security guards, who are at the transit centers daily during the hours the buses are running. 

She said they prevent panhandling and loitering from occurring on their property, but when it comes to surrounding areas, there isn’t much that the security officers are able to do. She also said that the GET security officers are meeting with Bakersfield police to work on a solution to the problem.

Carlos Baldovinos, with the Mission at Kern County, said the Downtown Business Association has partnered with several organizations, including the Mission, to stop panhandling. 

The program entails handing out cards to panhandlers with a list of shelters and charities that will provide the help they need.