Editor’s note: This article was originally published in September 2016. For Curbed’s Transportation Week we have updated with the most recent information.
Ever since 9/11, BART and MUNI stations have closed their public bathrooms for security reasons. Unfortunately, some people have taken to using the elevators as a makeshift toilet. And for commuters who rely on station elevators, day in and out, that’s neither sanitary nor pleasant.
Enter Sunday Parker, a regular BART rider and elevator user, who has been documenting the urine (and worse) that she finds on the floor.
[Warning: Graphic pics of urine to follow.]
As SFist reports, Parker, who uses a wheelchair, “frequently tweets out pictures of pee-soaked elevator floors from her handle @sundaytakesbart, publicly tagging @SFBART to draw attention to such situations.”
SFist has more:
Parker, who is in her mid-twenties, moved to the Bay Area from Oklahoma seven years ago, first to a dormitory in downtown San Francisco. Living centrally allowed her to avoid taking public transportation, something she'd never had to do in Oklahoma. But later, after moving to the Outer Sunset, Parker braved the light rail, heading to a doctor's appointment. "It was a terrifying experience to say the least," Parker tells SFist. "It was confusing having to navigate the train system, elevators, the boarding zone, which was, at the time, not labeled."
In the end, Parker missed her appointment, the trip taking three times what she had expected. The experience inspired Parker's first Medium post, and later, led to her Twitter account, where she identifies herself as an "Advocate for all disabled people who have to endure shit covered elevators to get to work."
BART is currently replacing their current elevator floors with new flooring that will allegedly help remedy the old flooring that was used to help soak up urine. Confusing? It is. Mess on top of mess.
And as Parker goes on to note, "Nothing has been done to alleviate the root cause...[BART] just kind of throws money at the problem. And, whenever they replace the flooring, that's an entire week where the elevator is shut down."
Be sure to read her entire interview over at SFist.
This isn’t the first time BART has encountered a vile waste problem in their stations. A few years ago, a major fecal mater matter proved so horrific that, due to the sheer amount of waste, it shut down the Civic Center escalator.
Update: One year later and, according to Parker’s Twitter, BART elevators seem the same. Here are some shots she posted within the last few months.