BART Orange Cone Giganticism

You know BART is serious about you not taking the 24th St escalator when they pull out the giant orange cone.


That being said, all sorts of crap other than, well, crap falls into the escalators.



BARTscalator shitstorm

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.

Via SFGate:

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

3) shit.

We should have a contest to guess what’s next on BART’s checklist. I’m guessing:

4) Birds!



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:


BARTscalator Capacitor runs out of Flux

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.

Vic Wong summarizes this for us:


BARTscalator Flux Capacitor

24th St BART escalator update: still broken.


The estimated repair date is now IN THE PAST.


Also, if BART ever hits 88 miles per hour, you might end up at the Smile Awhile Tavern.

BARTscalator Cuidado



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?

As a completely unfair comparison, I present you the much bigger (and very deep) Moscow subway. Not only are the stations prettier, but they keep the escalators running:

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.”

24th St. BART escalator returns after 4-month hiatus, breaks down again within hours

Yesterday afternoon, when I read that the 24th St. BART escalator had been repaired, I was thrilled. It had been broken since March 22nd. That’s four damn months. Four damned shit-ass months.

On my way home, I felt something I had never felt before: excitement about riding an escalator. I haven’t felt this kind of anticipation since I waited in line at Disneyland’s Star Tours ride cerca 1989. But at 6pm, mere hours after its return to service, it was broken again. As of this morning, it was still out of service. Here was the scene:

Yeah, I know taking the stairs has its health benefits, and I feel them. I really do. But maybe that has more to do with riding a rusted Murray bicycle that’s stuck in the highest gear and not so much the three flights of stairs. Still, after 8 hours of being zombified in a half-cubicle in Oakland, sometimes you just want to relish that 45 seconds where you can enjoy the blissful miracle of machine-aided ascension.

Let’s hope for a speedy re-recovery.

Update (4pm): Our prayers have been answered! Burrito Justice tweets:

Now we can all resume checking our phones for the duration of that short ride to the surface! Please stay operational for the next hour, escalator. I am on my way.

[top photo via Mission Loc@l]



Forever broken, forever undergoing maintenance, and don’t even think of taking your bike on it!

Perhaps the BART escalators wouldn’t be in need of repair so often if they weren’t so exposed to the elements?

Why No Bikes on BART Escalators?

Every time I ride BART, I’ve always noticed the sign at the bottom of the escalator that forcefully commands, “No Bikes on Escalator,” and have wondered why that is the case.  A periodic loudspeaker announcement clarifies that it’s for our own safety and that of our fellow BART riders, but this has always seemed like a cop-out to me.

I really can’t tell what’s so dangerous about holding a bike on an escalator while it’s moving upwards.  Surely, you don’t need to monopolize the whole escalator like the person above is doing; there is plenty of space to fit both you and your bicycle while also keeping an avenue open on the left side for others who want to pass.  Moreover, doesn’t it seem even more dangerous for a smallish individual to attempt to lug his or her bicycle up that daunting BART staircase?

Some quick research reveals that while some people are completely against the idea, certain situations sometimes make it a necessity.  So, how do YOU feel about bikes on escalators?  Can anyone provide a cogent reason for why this is a forbidden practice?

[Photo by tinka516]