BART launches escalator availability feature online
Starting this week, riders can now see if the stations they plan on using have an escalator outage before arriving. In an effort to increase transparency and better communicate with our riders about escalator repairs, BART has developed an online advisory that lists out of service escalators, their location, the reason they're out of service and an estimated return to service date. The advisories can be found on BART's website in the “Stations” section and its mobile website (m.bart.gov) in the “Advisories” section.
The tool updates every minute using real time data generated by BART’s internal maintenance system for the 177 escalators systemwide. When an escalator is taken out of service for any reason, the advisory will become active once a maintenance crew member enters the details into the system.
The advisory includes the station name, street location, if it is a platform or street level unit, and the direction it usually moves. “This information can help riders plan and time their trip, especially if they have mobility issues,” said BART Spokeswoman Alicia 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.”
This new communication tool is accompanied by an increased effort to improve escalator availability with the hiring of additional skilled and certified technicians, a focus on preventative maintenance, and improved technology to better track parts and repairs. Future plans include identifying funds and building protective canopies to shield units from damage, and to renovate or replace some of the most heavily used units in the system.
This past quarter (July-September 2015) BART’s street level escalator availability averaged 94.57% and platform level availability averaged 95.7%. “We know our riders depend on escalators as part of their trip and an outage can be a tremendous burden for some and frustrating for all,” Trost said. “Providing this level of information to the public is part of our commitment to improve the service and customer experience at BART.”
BART also provides Elevator Advisories online and through email and text. The next phase of the project includes adding the Escalator Advisories to the email and text subscription options and making the data available to developers in the API for use in third-party apps and services.