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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Here's Your Chance to Sit on BART Seats That Haven't Been Pooped On (Yet)

Posted By on Tue, Nov 5, 2013 at 12:47 PM

click to enlarge No! - FLICKR/JESSA-MINNIE
  • Flickr/Jessa-Minnie
  • No!

Now that the BART labor drama is over, we can all go back to one of our favorite pastimes: loving to hate BART -- and all its poopy seats.

Although your present day cloth-seated commute is vile, your future ride on BART trains might not be as unsanitary -- or at least we we hope. In effort to do away with all the bad press while promoting better sanitation and comfort, BART is committed to replacing its current cloth seats with something a little more cozy and a lot cleaner.

Commuters have already made it clear that they don't want cloth seating any more. But now, they must decide on cushion comfort for the future fleet. This week, BART is hosting several seat-sitting sessions at stations throughout the Bay Area where commuters will get to plop down on three different train car seats in the running, followed by a quick survey that will help the transit agency make some final decisions.

Our riders let us know that the majority of them prefer the easier-to-clean vinyl version of our seats," said Luna Salaver, spokeswoman for BART. "They spoke, we listened -- gone will be cloth, upholstered seating from the 70's."

The sample seats will have three different cushion densities -- soft, medium, and firm. The great news is no matter which cushion type we end up with, the new seats will have "easy-to-clean surfaces, silicone cushions that have a long life and retain shape over time."

The new seats will also be environmentally friendly, made from 74 percent recyclable materials and light enough to cut down on energy needed to move the train, according to BART. It'll also cut down on cleaning costs; as of now, BART spends $600,000 annually to dry clean those cloth seats. Can you tell?

So if you're interested in helping to shape the future seats -- or you just want a few minutes away from the office -- head down to one of these events this week:

  • November 5 at Balboa Park Station from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

  • November 6 at Powell Street Station (at the 700 block of Market street) from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Back in 2011, thousands of commuters toured BART's "seat labs" to give initial feedback on the future fleets. They included a variety of options: hard plastic seats, cushioned seats, vinyl seats, cloth seats, arm rests, and no arm rests.

In case you hadn't smelled, BART currently operates with the oldest fleet of train cars in the nation. As a result, it has big plans to replace and expand the entire fleet by 2017.

Doesn't that exciting news just make you want to hump a BART seat?

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.

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