Good news! The 24th St BART escalator is working!
Here we see the escalator in its new spin cycle. This is a new feature added by BART engineers to clear the escalator of HUMAN WASTE.
When work crews pulled open a broken BART escalator at San Francisco’s Civic Center Station last month, they found so much human excrement in its works they had to call a hazardous-materials team.
While the sheer volume of human waste was surprising, its presence was not. Once the stations close, the bottom of BART station stairwells in downtown San Francisco are often a prime location for homeless people to camp for the night or find a private place to relieve themselves.
All those biological excretions can gum up the wheels and gears of BART’s escalators, shutting them down for long periods of extended repairs, increasing station cleaning costs and creating an unpleasant aroma for morning commuters.
Thus far, BART has blamed this on:
1) the main drive gear
2) an overly-sensitive sensor
We should have a contest to guess what’s next on BART’s checklist. I’m guessing:
Reader @doogiehowsahthinks the timing is suspect:
Wow, it’s such an interesting coincidence that as the story of BART neglecting Mission stations started to gain traction, this story suddenly comes out, blaming dirty poor people for the problem.
We clearly need to wrap the escalator and all BART passengers in vinyl.
On the other hand, here’s a trippy panorama of the 24th St BART foyer:
24th St BART Escalator Update:
No escalating. But a new sign!
Hey, wait, July’s almost August. Aaahh, I see, this memo is actually from May.
Anyway, I’m guessing we’ve passed the point of a “minor” repair? I say we just skip this escalation and implement Futurama-style pneumatic tubes. Though if this continues, the flux could build up to such a level that some passengers might enter a vortex and find themselves back in an alternate 1960s where we had BART hovercraft.
UPDATE: Mission Loc@l reports that there’s an oversensitive sensor to blame:
The escalator is back in service most of the time but there is a sensor that stops the escalator if a certain weight is exceeded. Technicians have made some adjustments to make the device less sensitive. Hopefully, that will work and will keep the escalator in service.
Dear BART: it’s not like society just invented escalators. This is a fairly well-understood technology, used world-wide.
How many dedicated escalator repair personnel do you have? How many spare parts do you hold onsite? Why does this escalator keep breaking?
How do you keep them running?
“People,” Likhachev says. His division has a staff of 3,000. It has workers posted at every station during operating hours. It has a 20-member emergency rapid response team. It also has its own factory churning out spare parts, “so we don’t have to rely on suppliers.”
This is not to say that all escalators work all the time, because they don’t. But let’s be clear about one thing: “We do not have escalators out of order,” Likhachev says. “We close some for repair.”
I don’t really read books, but if I did, I’d consider reading these, because I like these ads.
UPDATE: Artist is Owen Smith. Thanks, Schlub and Eric!
Our pal Kiran was just wondering:
whenever i go through the bay on BART i wish they would’ve made the tunnel transparent so we could see all the the cool underwater shit going on under there. i imagine it to be filled with tons of interesting little sea critters & the water to be all pretty & blue….but then i think about about & realistically, it probably would be the total opposite & filled with dead things & all green & murky & stuff i really don’t wanna see. so then i say ok & stare back at my ipod & continue avoiding awkward eye contact with all the people around me. [link]
It’d be trippy though, I bet.
[Photo by Bruce Mozart via Betsey J]
Hey, looks like BART Police actually do stuff other than stand around holding their belts!
Today BART posted that that they caught 47-year old Brett Major of San Francisco in the act, and want your help in identifying some recovered stolen frames:
BART Police Officers booked Major at San Francisco County Jail for burglary, theft, possession of burglary tools, and an outstanding warrant originating from Alameda County. A subsequent search of Majors’ home turned up seven bicycle frames and parts, which BART Police believe to be stolen. BART Police Investigators are looking for the owners to identify and claim their property.
My bike (stolen in January from the same location) wasn’t in there, but maybe you can identify yours so they can throw the book at this dude… multiple times. Hopefully they are heavy books with sharp edges like hardcover, large print editions of Infinite Jest. I don’t think I’ll be retiring the busted-ass Murray that I lock down there yet, but this is a good development indeed.
If you’ve had a bike stolen out of 24th St. recently, head over to BART’s site and see if a picture of your frame is listed.
Update: Also, don’t forget that Ingelside station posted a ton of pictures of recovered bikes in May. Worth a look if you haven’t checked it out already.
Apparently the West Oakland station is closed due to a fire under the tracks and no trains are going from SF to Oakland or vice-versa. The station placards are suggesting that riders find “alternate means of transportation.”
So I guess this means that if you work in Oakland, today’s a snow day for you! Most people I spoke with in that situation are simply going back home. Vic, what are YOU gonna do?
I swear, every time I ride BART something crazy always happens. On the other hand, look at these sweet vinyl seats and non-carpet floors! At least they’ve got that going for them.
UPDATE!!! Way more coverage over at SFist.