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Maxine - No worries. BART is always full of people and police and you are going from one very safe area to another.
Not to worry, SwingCha is just having some fun (I think. :))
This entire line (Pittsburg-Bay Point) is probably of the safest transit lines of any system in the entire Bay Area. It goes through good areas, and once it comes out of the tunnel, you can see some of the neighborhoods you are traveling through.
The biggest worry I have most of the time on BART is being accidentally pushed off the platform and falling on the tracks, where even if no train is coming, a person can be electrocuted. I always stand back a little while waiting.
I live in Walnut Creek and make this BART trip to SF with my family - kids/elerly parents, visitors from out of state, etc. It is very very safe and I have never seen anyone fall off the tracks! There are wide yellow painted perimeters on the concrete next to the tracks warning where to Stay Back from.....
Yes, it is quite safe. You should be just fine.
Walnut Creek is in the suburbs and is one of the more affluent cities in the Bay Area. There is also a taxi stand at Walnut Creek, opposite of the parking garage structure, should you need one.
Although I'm not sure, I believe the most recent derailment was on a Saturday. Perhaps you'd feel more comfortable on another day.
I do not recall hearing anything about a derailment with BART recently. There was smoke at Montgomery a few weeks ago on a weekday morning, but service resumed within 30 minutes.
Speaking of weekends: there are timed stops at MacArthur, 19th, and 12th, to allow riders to transfer from one line to another. This is needed because BART does not run all its routes on the weekends, so there may be a wait of several minutes before the train starts again.
* "Although I'm not sure, I believe the most recent derailment was on a Saturday. Perhaps you'd feel more comfortable on another day." *
I'm not sure there is any pattern to derailments; if it happens, it happens.
My own preference (kind of an odd word to use in this situation) is that if I were on a train that derailed, I'd prefer it be at an off-peak time. With fewer passengers, I would expect less likelihood of mass panic or people getting hurt in the process of evacuating or being rescued. Lighter traffic in the cities would also help expedite emergency response.
But it's so rare that BART or Muni trains derail that it isn't worth worrying about. The biggest hazard to folks walking around the City is being clobbered by drivers who blow red lights or stop signs, are preoccupied with whatever they have going on which naturally takes precedence over everyone else, or are fiddling with cell phones, Blackberries, lipstick, shavers, frapucchinos, or Big Macs. Yeah, when you live in San Francisco, you see it all.