The elevator attendant program in effect at Powell Street and Civic Center will extend to two more stations, a move which seems to assume the elevators at those stations will actually be working.
Perhaps you’ve noticed a friendly BART station agent hanging out pretty much in perpetuity in the elevators at Powell Street and Civic Center stations. That’s not an accident; the elevator attendant program has been a structured thing since April 2018, based on the premise that having staff present in those elevators will go a long way to prevent, shall we say, “illegal dumping.” Apparently they think it’s working, as the Examiner reports that the BART Board of Directors voted to expand the use of elevator attendants to the Montgomery Street and Embarcadero stations.
These aren’t the only changes the BART board approved Thursday. According to KPIX, they also elected to expand the Homeless Outreach Team presence to more stations in Alameda and San Mateo Counties, including the SFO station. They also awarded a $32 million upgrade to the 19th Street BART station in Oakland, which is expected to begin in early 2020.
But the attendant program, which basically just involves stationing people as greeters in the elevators, seems to have generated the most goodwill. BART Board of vice president Rebecca Saltzman claims to have received the rider feedback, “This is amazing. Do this everywhere. This is the best thing you’ve ever done.”
The elevator attendants are from Urban Alchemy, a nonprofit that helps the formerly incarcerated get jobs and get back on their feet. They merely greet people and keep a log (haha!) of how many people use the elevators, how many of these people have disabilities, how many have strollers, and how many are carrying luggage.
There are a few other cleanup measures the BART board also approved. Most significantly, those mobile “pit stop” bathrooms have been funded for three more years at 16th Street, 24th Street, and Powell Street stations. But according to BART’s plan, you can expect to see elevator attendants at Embarcadero and Montgomery later this fall.
Image: Sharon Hahn Darlin via Flickr