A cleaner, less urine-soaked 16th Street Mission BART Station is about to become a reality for many BART riders who pass through the station every day.
During a hearing at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee, BART officials laid out a plan to clean the filthy station by hiring more janitors to staff the stations.
Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who requested the hearing and represents the Mission District, has been going to the 16th Street Mission Station with BART board Director Bevan Dufty to bring light of the conditions of the station.
Ronen last month said while she began sweeping up the plazas around the station, she found discarded chicken bones, human feces and used needles.
Ronen said the first day she joined Dufty in cleaning the station was the day after Halloween last year:
“It was one of the most obscene and really unhealthy situations I have ever seen.”
“When you’re a passenger, you just kind of walk through, look straight, and try not to touch or see as little as possible because it’s a station that has been historically plagued with many difficult issues coming into one.”
Paul Oversier, assistant general manager of operations for BART, said the transit agency is the process of hiring 21 new janitors who will be in place by April, which will benefit the 16th Street Mission Station.
Currently, there is one full-time janitor working at the station, but will now have two dedicated janitors during the day and swing shifts, seven days a week for total of 14 shifts when the new hires are in place.
Prior to the process of hiring new cleaners, Oversier said six of the 14 shifts were not staffed, and meant one cleaner had to work at both the 16th Street and 24th Street Mission stations.
BART will distribute the newly hired janitors based on the usage of each station. Civic Center, Powell, Montgomery and Embarcadero stations are rated “very high,” and will have more dedicated cleaners in the day and graveyard shifts, for example.
The 16th Street Mission Station is rated as “high,” with the 24th Street Mission Station also in the same category.
Additionally, Oversier said cleaning crews will power wash the 16th Street Mission Station from one hour a night to four hours a night, seven days a week, also beginning in April.
Ronen said she was thankful for BART for stepping up:
“This is really is the government’s job to fix these problems that we have had in the BART Station and we’re starting to do that.”