BART and SFMTA launch downtown San Francisco Elevator Attendant Pilot Program


BART and SFMTA launch downtown San Francisco Elevator Attendant Pilot Program

BART and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency today (April 30, 2018) launched a pilot program that will staff elevators at the Civic Center and Powell St. stations with attendants.

The six-month pilot is meant to address elevator cleanliness, safety, security, availability and accessibility issues.

The nationwide homelessness crisis and related quality of life issues have presented the transit agencies with a unique set of challenges.

In this case, it is how to ensure our elevators are usable while also pointing people who need a restroom in the right direction.

BART and SFMTA are bringing in members of the community organization Hunters Point Family to serve as attendants.

They will monitor the two station elevators each day from station opening to closing.

The attendants will greet riders and direct people seeking facilities to the well maintained, fully attended, street-level Pit Stop bathrooms located above the Civic Center and Powell St. Stations.

The bathrooms were installed last year as part of a BART partnership with the city of San Francisco Public Works Department.

Part of Ongoing Strategy

This SFMTA partnership follows other BART efforts to ensure the safety, security, comfort and convenience of riders.

In 2015, the agency started replacing flooring in all 127 passenger elevators throughout the system to make them easier to clean.

The work also involved upgrading splash guards at the sides of the elevators to prevent liquid from flowing under to the sub-floor and damaging elevator equipment.

Connecting People to Resources

We are also working to connect individuals to resources.

In November of 2017, BART and the SFMTA began a partnership with San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing to provide a team of two HOT outreach workers Monday through Thursday at four downtown transit stations.

Since work started in November they have connected nearly 300 people experiencing homelessness with vital services.

In October of 2017, BART began participating in the federal Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program, which diverts low-level drug offenders who may also be struggling with homelessness, mental health and substance abuse issues from the criminal justice system into treatment programs and hopefully recovery. 

This diversion program is in response to the open drug use witnessed in our system.  

These efforts are focused on the Civic Center and 16th Street stations.  

There are two types of diversions: pre-booking, in which a person in facing a choice between possible jail for a low-level non-violent controlled substance offense, or an agreement to enter the LEAD program.

The other is called a "social contact" diversion, which allows a referral into LEAD by a law enforcement officer who has witnessed LEAD-eligible behavior.  

In the 3rd quarter of 2017 this partnership lead to 9 pre-bookings and 6 social contacts.