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Out of Order: BART Admits Its Escalators Are Crappy — But Not Full of Crap 

Wednesday, Jan 7 2015

Leave it to BART to burst our dung-filled balloon. Tales of station escalators giving way due to the sheer volume of macerated human waste amassed within are just that — tales.

"It's an urban myth," claims BART spokesman Jim Allison. Workers removing urine and feces from those escalators would beg to differ, but Allison says the main reasons for station escalators' incessant breakdowns are "wear and tear and weather exposure."

Also: They're crappy. A handful of escalators installed in the 1990s by the ONK company have proven to be particularly unreliable.

So it was with much fanfare that BART last month announced $12 million in state funds to replace three of those problematic escalators and encase them in protective canopies. Left unsaid is that $12 million is a spectacular sum to apply to just three escalators (there are 169 in the system). Granted, an undetermined amount of that total will also go toward "station modernization." And $12 million is just the amount the state has deigned to give: The project could cost more.

"It's a worthwhile project," says San Francisco BART commissioner Tom Radulovich. "Is that the right amount of money for the project? I just don't know."

About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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