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BART riders revolt, climb up side of broken escalator

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Commute nightmare proved too much for these passengers

After storm-related chaos interrupted BART service during Tuesday evening’s commute, riders at the 24th Street/Mission station, who were piled on top of each other on the platform, couldn’t take it anymore.

In an effort to get out of the station, passengers climbed up the “slide” of the (habitually) broken escalator, whose steps were removed for maintenance. The temporary shutdown of BART, which lasted until around 10pm, caused a bottleneck effect at the station’s two exits.

People were not pleased.


As SFist reports, the cause of said chaos was a tree limb that fell on the track near the Balboa station. Any longtime resident can confirm that even the lightest sprinkle has a tendency to bring BART to its knees.

Commuting nightmare notwithstanding, there’s something inspiring about seeing people use public space (in this case the unofficial slide portion of the escalator) in such a brazen, albeit dangerous, manner.

Outside of dated tech offices, slides are underused in public spaces. Which is too bad. Take, for example. this concept filmed for VW. Warning: This is basically a car advertisement, but the intention was good and the outcome was fun. It’s nice to see how many people light up with joy when they take the slide.

And this 2009 video shows what fun public stairs could be with a musical re-imagining of a mall staircase. But as one YouTube commenter points out, “Unfortunately this would be impossible in the U.S. The first person who slipped on the stairs while playing around would sue the mall into bankruptcy. “

Nevertheless, it’s interesting to see people interact with space they’ve taken for granted.