BART 9-month elevator project hopes to remedy urine situation

Anyone who’s used certain BART station elevators knows they can be in pretty bad shape. They often smell like urine, but that’s slowly changing.

KTVU visited one of the worksites that’s part of a nine-month improvement project that’s already well underway.
BART crews spent the day replacing the urine-soaked floors on two elevators at its Coliseum Station. Each elevator requires five days to remove the old linoleum as well as the underlying wood flooring.

Then the metal understructure must be examined for rust and corrosion and repaired if necessary. A new floor is then installed, but this time it’s sealed with a thick impermeable layer of epoxy that needs a day to cure.

San Francisco’s Civic Center Station is due for its upgrade next week and Bay Fair the week following.

When the surface is done, what you have is a floor that cannot be penetrated by urine or any other liquid, according to BART. It’s also a rough surface, which means even if it does get wet; it’s harder to slip on.

Also, since some will still use the floor as a urinal, it’s a type of flooring that is much easier to mop and sanitize and prevents damage to the under flooring. 

Rheena Singh uses the North Berkeley BART Station elevator every day. The station has seen the recent improvements, but Singh says if the pleasantness is to stay, regular attention to the elevator floors is mandatory several times a day.

“We need to be keeping our BART station clean and I really appreciate it now,” she said.

To complete all 92 elevators in the BART system at both its stations and garages, BART says it will take until April of 2017 (perhaps a little longer) depending on how much damage the urine has done.