Broken BART escalators
Saturday, May 19, 2016

I used to live near 24th Street and complain — and chronicle — the BART escalators being out of commission there. But now that I live near 16th Street, I can attest to the escalators here being just as lousy.

This one was out for three months, opened a month after the promised April date, and is again frozen. When we’ve called about it, the answer is always that the weather and/or feces create mechanical problems. And yes, these stations can be tough — but that’s true of any urban station.

I took the London Underground for two years, and only once in that time was an escalator out for a day. Do the Brits simply have better escalators? Mechanics?

I guess BART timed the renovation of the second escalator at 16th Street to happen after they were finished with the first. August? Don’t count on it.

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Founder/Executive Editor. I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor emeritus at Berkeley’s J-school since 2019 when I retired. I got my start in newspapers at the Albuquerque Tribune in the city where I was born and raised. Like many local news outlets, The Tribune no longer exists. I left daily newspapers after working at The New York Times for the business, foreign and city desks. Lucky for all of us, it is still there.

As an old friend once pointed out, local has long been in my bones. My Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on New York City’s experiment in community boards.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how you make that long-held interest in local news sustainable. The answer continues to elude me.

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  1. BART used to outsource escalator maintenance to a contractor who was accountable for keeping them operable. Then they had a great idea to bring service “in-house” and hire more people– perhaps it’s time to go back to contracting labor since they clearly cannot handle the maintenance.

  2. BART is the worst transit system in the country! And not sure what the BART cops do all day for their outrageous salaries but it is certainly. NOT protect the riders!

  3. when the hell are they going put some restrooms in the Bart Station again.this is crazy mass transit in supposedly world class city with out restrooms.

  4. The escalator is especially important for those who use the BART to go the airport and come back. Carrying a heavy suitcase down (and obviously up) these long stairs is no joke, particularly for older people.

  5. Lynda – So what’s the problem? BudgetU Unfixable technical problem? What does BART Public Affairs tell you? Dd you contact them? Did you ask a vertical transportation consultant to comment? You can do better!


    1. We always get the same answers from BART, which I repeated in the story – the weather, human feces. These are problems that every urban transit system deals with and our weather is a whole lot better than London’s. But yes, you’re right, it deserves more reporting and that takes reporters. You can support reporting by becoming a member or if that is not possible, you could support the reporting by helping with it.