We all know BART has a well-earned reputation as a grimepit, from the skin-infection hosting seats to their infamous poop escalators. And the problem seems to be getting worse, as a study from last year revealed that passengers think stations are filthier than ever. (It certainly doesn't help that as recently as 2014, only one person was tasked with keeping each downtown SF station clean during hours of operation.) Today the Chron has a nice breakdown of the whole mess — much of which, it appears, comes down to homeless folks and money. Let's look at the numbers!
- $400,000: the cost to erect two "temporary 3½-foot-high “no trespassing” gates... to keep homeless people from using the stairwells and escalators as overnight bathrooms at San Francisco’s Embarcadero, Montgomery Street, Powell Street and Civic Center stations"
- $100,000: The annual salary for a new city Homeless Outreach Team manager (BART will pay half) who will work to get homeless people out of stations and into shelters
- $111,000: The annual salary for BART's civilian “crisis intervention and community outreach specialist” who is already "roaming the system to keep an eye on the homeless"
- 15: The number of “special projects” workers who "scrub the four downtown San Francisco stations from top to bottom in six-week cycles"
- 3: The number of crew members dedicated to cleaning SF's 16th Street and 24th Street stations
- $1.1 million: The total cost of those workers
- 122: The number of regular, old, non-special project full-time maintenance workers BART employs
- 32: The number of groundskeepers BART employs (none of whom, apparently, handle rats)
- $9 million: the approximate combined annual salary for those 169 different people who work to keep BART stations clean
- $700,000: The annual payment BART makes to three companies that deal with any station dirt that's higher than seven feet ("the job is considered too dangerous for the transit system’s employees," the Chron says)
- $700,000: The cost of the annual contract BART has with a company that manages pigeons in stations
- $400,000: The cost of the two annual contracts BART has with a company that inspects for and removes graffiti
- $91,000: The amount BART spends a year on a special team that cleans up biohazards — for example, used needles or what's left behind after a BART train hits someone (though it appears that they are not always successful)
All facts and figures: BART’s multimillion-dollar ‘big problem’ is fighting grime, from the March 9, 2016 SF Chronicle.