But in its efforts to defuse a dangerous situation, BART was inadvertently creating another one. As one commuter told PCWorld, the decision to disable mobile phone service prevented passengers from calling police or the fire department in case of an emergency.

The day after the planned demonstration, which failed, BART spokesman Jim Allison boasted to reporters, “We had a commute that was safe and without disruption.”

Maybe so, but at what cost to personal freedoms?