Let's hear it for the Fourth Estate, everybody! After bombarding BART with scores of blog posts, news stories and social media campaigns criticizing the dismal state of the transit agency's fleet of non-functional escalators, members of the local media have finally affected change among the Bay Area's much peed-upon people movers. In a press release Monday evening, the transit agency finally promised to tackle the "unprecedented escalator outages with additional repair staff."
Those unprecedented outages include the 12 escalators currently out of service in downtown San Francisco, as well as 16 others at stations around the rail system, some of which have been out of service for the better part of a year. Although BART's Accessibility Task Force didn't seem to be making a big deal about the outages last time we checked, a scathing investigative report from the Chronicle's mustachioed duo of Matier & Ross apparently caught their attention yesterday.
Anyhow, as part of their pledge to get back to getting folks out of the underground faster, BART has reassigned six technicians to augment their usual platoon of 10 repairmen responsible for the downtown stations. With some overtime hours and additional contractors on the job, BART expects to have the seven of the 12 busted downtown escalators fixed by June 22nd — a little over two weeks from today. Their eventual goal is to have at least 95% of escalators in working condition, rather than the current rate of 85%.