Rats are BART’s latest filth problem


After decades as a paragon of squeaky-clean modern public transit, BART’s brushed stainless-steel image has picked up quite a stench recently.

First, a Bay Citizen investigation showed creepy-crawly booty-gnarlies were living all over the once-chic wool seat covers of many BART trains.

Then, BART patrons in wheelchairs who rely upon elevators complained of getting sick from all the human feces clogging downtown conveyances.

Now, SF Weekly has combed through BART station inspection reports that reveal another, living, breathing problem: Rats.

BART station agents are required to file twice-daily reports on various aspects of station maintenance. Over two weeks at the 24th Street-Mission Station, inspection reports began with entries like this on June 12:


Then nearly two weeks later, on June 25:

“… a few early morning passengers (older females) were startled (she says it nearly gave her a heart attack) by two (2) rats (not mice). Rats running up down the stairs playing in the plaza (her words).”

SF Weekly reports BART’s wildlife problems aren’t limited to rodents. A June 25 inspection report from Powell Station reads:

“Pigeons are nesting, having babies throughout the station.”

The same report also said that passengers at Powell Station were slipping around in pigeon droppings.

BART spokesman Jim Allison seemed to downplay the reports to SF Weekly, saying some of the more dramatic inspection report entries could be chalked up to frustrated station agents:

“Some are obviously upset about what’s going on at that station, and maybe emotions are running high when they write the reports.”

Jesse Garnier
Jesse Garnier is the editor and founder of SFBay. A Mission District native, he also teaches journalism as associate professor at San Francisco State University.

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