BART admits total defeat pic.twitter.com/1BHwYk0ynR— Kevin Montgomery (@kevinmonty) November 29, 2015
The seemingly perennially broken (or breaking) system of BART escalators in some way is the perfect metaphor for San Francisco, a global tech hub that can't figure out how to make moving stairs work reliably. Constantly breaking due to exposure to rain and excrement, the escalators are a source of frustration for many and a potential serious problem for commuters with mobility issues. In light of this, BART yesterday announced a new initiative designed to restore riders' trust in the system: a website to tell you when escalators are broken.
Updated in real time, the escalator status page (still in beta, apparently) lets riders know the state of specific escalators throughout BART and the reason behind any potential problems. At the time of this writing, the site shows that 10 escalators are out of service, with causes ranging from "major repair" to "evaluating" (i.e. technicians don't know what's wrong).
In announcing the new website, BART Spokeswoman Alicia Trost explained how she envisions riders will use the newly provided information.
“This information can help riders plan and time their trip, especially if they have mobility issues," said Trost. “A rider can use the outage information and head straight toward another entrance or exit or even board a train car that stops closer to the exit they want to target.”
The new real-time list compliments an already existing elevator status page (there are currently three elevators out of service).
BART officials say that soon you will be able to subscribe to email and text alerts regarding the status of your favorite BART escalator. Well, good.