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Being Homeless in San Francisco

Victor Esmeraldo hands a cup of coffee to a man sitting on bedding at the Powell Street BART and MUNI public transportation system station in San Francisco.

Being Homeless in San Francisco

Transit police on San Francisco's BART commuter rail line on Tuesday stepped up efforts to discourage homeless people from sleeping in stations, issuing warnings that could eventually lead to a trip to jail.

The crackdown by the Bay Area Rapid Transit police started with verbal warnings to people sleeping in the hallway corners of Powell Street train station downtown, the first step in a widening campaign that will eventually include all stations.

"We felt we had a duty to protect our patrons and provide them safe passageway in case of an emergency," said BART spokesman Jeff Jennings. "If something happens, we want the people to be able to get up and move with the crowd and not trip folks."

Reporting by Jennifer Chaussee, REUTERS.