Burning Questions: That Busted BART Escalator

The escalator at The 24th / Mission Street Station BART . By Laura Wenus.

You turn to Mission Local to find out what’s going on in our district, to find out about what works and what doesn’t. We’re launching an occasional series called “Burning Questions,” in which we deep dive into topics great and small. And here’s the story behind one moving staircase…that does not move.

How long has that BART escalator at the 24th / Mission Street Station been broken?

Since April. Of course, there are other means of entering/escaping the train platform. Try the stairs, the street elevator, or the other escalator.

What happened?

Blame it on a step crash, a BART rep said. (Due to heavy-footed commuters… is just our guess.) In short, the escalator needs new steps – plus a chain that moves the steps. Also the escalator gear box cracked, so that needs rebuilding, too.

Sign at The 24th / Mission Street Station BART. By Laura Wenus.

Sign at The 24th / Mission Street Station BART. By Laura Wenus.

When will it be fixed?

Naturally, having an escalator sets you up for the expectation that it will escalate you ‘tween levels. BART gets that. But “the escalator will be out of service until at least the first week of August,” BART Communications Manager Alicia Trost forecasted.

Notice the “at least.”

I have nagging questions about when this escalator was built?

OK, OK. This escalator was installed in 1998. It replaced an endless circulating belts of stairs that had been there since 1972.

How do I get an apology for all this broken-escalator bother?

Right here: “We are sorry for the inconvenience this lengthy outage has caused our riders,” Trost, the BART spokesperson, said in an email. “This is a complete rebuild and we are working quickly to get it back in service.”

Submit your hot queries about all-things Mission to missionlocal@gmail.com, with the subject line “Burning Questions.”

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  1. Orddu

    Great idea for a regular feature!

  2. Mike K

    The last question is dumb
    What do they have to apologize for?

    • Fabrizio

      Actually it is a good question. What does BART have to apologize for? Don’t get me started. But while we’re talking about the escalator, the up escalator on the southeast corner of the plaza, we could use far more than an apology. This is not the first time in the last ten years this escalator has gone down. Over the past five years, it’s been a regular feature of life in the Mission. I left the Mission in 2012 and it was down. When I returned in 2013, it was still down (though neighbors swear it came up before it went down). And it’s never down for a day or two. This is not the first story ML has written about this escalator. In fact I wonder whether the story’s been recycled. Same questions, same non-explanations. And always, always, “the escalator will be out of service until at least the first week of August.”

  3. jd

    A lot of the problems with these escalators are due to, or exacerbated by, them being exposed to the elements (and pigeon and human excrement). So here is a simply solution which should have been implemented from day one: put a roof over it! And when the station closes, the gates will be up top so homeless people can’t defecate and piss in it. Why needlessly expose an escalator to so much abuse?

  4. ThatGuy

    Sounds to me like Bart is being a “poor communicator”.

    I say: BOYCOTT BART!

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