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BART to extend elevator attendant program

Successful plan to protect Civic Center Station and Powell Street Station lifts extended into 2019

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Three months into a six-month pilot program that stationed attendants at BART elevators—infamous for being makeshift toilets, among other issues—the agency has decided to extend it into late 2019 due to positive feedback.

“This program is amazing on so many levels,” said Paula Fraser, assistant chief transportation officer for BART’s downtown San Francisco lines. “These workers are from the community, they’re helping our patrons, and they’re improving the quality of life in our stations, which benefits everyone.”

The program went into effect at the Powell Street and Civic Center stations, placing helpers inside the elevators. Riders complained for years that the lifts were unsanitary and unusable, especially for people with disabilities. Most notably, local advocate Sunday Parker chronicled evidence of the putrid conditions in 2016.

In all, 35 people staff the two stations’ elevators 21 hours a day beginning at 4 a.m. The program cost roughly $3.2 million, split between BART and SFMTA.