Piss Be Damned: BART and Muni Unveil Elevator Attendant Program

Piss Be Damned: BART and Muni Unveil Elevator Attendant Program

Of course, the photo is just a dramatization—but for serious, BART and Muni answer the age old question: why does it smell like piss in here?

And for anyone who has to use a wheelchair full-time, you know the pain and struggles of going into an unkempt public transportation elevator, only to encounter fecal and urine staining the floors, walls, and even the ceiling. 

Though BART and Muni have seen their share of lawsuits from people with disabilities, we suppose this a step in the right direction. For the next six months, both agencies will post attendants in the elevators at Powell Street and Civic Center Stations as part of a pilot program. Streetsblog quotes BART Board of Directors member Devan Dufty that the personnel are there to cut down on “puddles and surprises in the elevators.”

And from what they've told us in a press release, they state:

The pilot is meant to address elevator cleanliness, safety, security, availability and accessibility issues.

The nationwide homelessness crisis and related quality of life issues have presented the transit agencies with a unique set of challenges. In this case, it is how to ensure our elevators are usable while also pointing people who need a restroom in the right direction.

BART and SFMTA are bringing in members of the community organization Hunters Point Family to serve as attendants. They will monitor the two station elevators each day from station opening to closing.

So expect 35 people to staff the two stations’ elevators 21 hours a day starting at 4 a.m. The program will cost $3.2 million, split between the two transit agencies. Again, this is only a pilot and if the pilot succeeds, more money will be put into it—if not, then soiled elevators may be still a thing of the future.

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