OAKLAND (KRON) — BART is spending close to $2 million to combat a stinky problem.
That problem is people using their elevators as toilets. KRON’s Maureen Kelly shows us what is being done and talked to riders stuck riding the elevators who are anxious for it to be completed.
Sparks were flying as workers prepped the floorboards at an elevator at Oakland’s Coliseum Station. They are putting new plywood and stainless steel on the bottom of 80 of BART’s elevators.
The new covering will eventually be coated with an epoxy that is supposed to keep the bottom of the elevator water tight.
An elevator at Civic Center is the next on the list to get the work done.
Those who take it said that day can’t come soon enough.
“The elevators be nasty,” BART rider Angelique Brown said. “Our kids can’t even breath in them.”
Other riders agree the elevators just flat out stink.
“If I can hold my breathe a good while, I’ll make it cause it’s funky in there,” rider Lilly Hill-Turner said.
Maureen got on the elevator with a father and daughter, who also said they could not take the smell.
“I’m gonna barf…it’s gross,” BART rider Yvette Jaramillo said.
The floor was actually wet. You can see marks where someone in a wheelchair had to track through it.
Maureen spoke to disabled BART rider Howard Bronow, who said sometimes there are worst things than pee in there.
“It’s awful, almost always there is feces smeared on the side,” Bronow said. “They clean it all the time, but it always seems to come right back. And they have a bathroom right over there. I don’t understand why they can’t use it.”
BART is also trying out something new at one particular elevator. They have a misting system inside the shaft sending out a bacteria eating enzyme once an hour.
The cost of the replacing the old floorboards is running over $1.8 million. The work on 80 elevators is expected to be finished in April.
While riders said they will be relieved when it’s done, they are concerned at how effective it will be as the larger problem of homelessness remains unfixed.