Sunday, July 15, 2007

BART Bathrooms

Rachel Gordon of SF Chronicle wrote an article on cleanliness of BART station bathrooms today. I've written a few times over the past couple of years on BART bathrooms (see one example here.)

BART bathrooms are worse than public park restrooms. I've used restrooms at park facilities thinking that I'd pass out from the filthiness and stench, but most of them have been cleaner than BART bathrooms. Heck, some BART bathrooms are worse than facilities I've used while traveling in more impoverished regions of the world.

I used to think the cleanliness of the BART station bathrooms has a lot to do with the demographics of the city the station is located in. But I have since learned that's not the case.

I used to live in Lafayette and being the clean freak that I am, I actually can brave going in there. The worst thing you see are a trail of water to the paper towels. You don't smell urine, you don't see graffitis, most people do flush the toilet and do their business within the bowl, there is always soap and paper towels and the trash rarely overflows. I used it twice- both times were necessities (fixing contact lenses). I'd rate it a B+.

However, now that I live in Orinda, the demographics although identical to Lafayette, I was in shock to see the bathroom to be closer to a D- than a B+. The bathroom stunk, urine poured all over the place, bowl was lined with stains and residues, sink was full of scum and leak stains, trash everywhere.....I had to hold my breath the entire time and jetted out there as fast as I could. This was a year ago, and I've never walked in there since. My only explanation to that is Orinda BART station is used by many passengers from cities off 80 freeway, accessible by San Pablo Dam Road. It's just a guess-- please don't over-analyze it and get offended.

BART commented that they clean the facilities 5 or 6 times a day? If that's the case, I don't think any of can tell. If it is so evident that 5 or 6 times a day is not enough to keep it to a C or above sanitary condition, shouldn't they have increased the cleaning schedule? I think even airport bathrooms are cleaned once an hour in some places...I've peeked a couple times at the cleaning schedule. And what exactly does BART constitute as cleaning? A thorough scrub down? Or just simply refilling the toilet paper and dumping the trash?


Rafael said...

I've used the mens bathroom at San Bruno bart. It is a really sorry bathroom. How can people have no respect for others when using the bathroom? Don't people know that their mothers are not going to clean up after them? The stench of urine is very strong. How can someone go number 2 all over the seat and yet come out with no marks on their pants and shirts?

Honey B said...

Wait, BART has bathrooms? :-D The only station on my ride that has open bathrooms is Richmond. After 6 years, I don't think BART bathrooms are the prime target for terrorist bombers anymore! Unless they're using a urine bomb. And you're right, the bathrooms (when they're even open) do suck.