Some BART restrooms may be closer to finally reopening

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BART could be closer to finally reopening the restrooms at its underground stations after being closed since 911 for safety reasons. (KGO-TV)

BART could be closer to finally reopening the restrooms at its underground stations.

It's been so long, that BART riders don't remember ever using a bathroom at some of the stations.

After 911, for safety reasons BART closed the bathrooms at all 10 underground stations, but bathrooms at platform-level stations have always remained opened.

BART riders haven't seen what's behind metal bathroom doors since after 911 when they closed for security reasons.

"I typically try to avoid BART bathrooms," one woman said.

"It's just the restrooms at those underground stations and they've been locked ever since," BART spokesperson Alicia Trost said.

But at Thursday's meeting, the BART board seemed more receptive to the idea of redesigning and remodeling the old bathrooms at two stations -- 19th Street in Oakland and the Powell Station in San Francisco.
Unlike the old ones, these would not be single bathrooms, instead they would have separate stalls and the sink would be on the outside.

"The idea is to open that space up and make it safe and see if that will work for the rest of the system," Trost said.

If approved, the new facilities would be within the line of sight of the station agent booth.

"I would love to see them back to see them back if they can keep them open and running and in working order. That would be a great service," BART rider Octavio Nevarez said.

"It's not serving the public and I think that's one of BART's responsibilities is to serve the public on their trips on BART and that would be a real asset to the system," BART rider Chuck Lenatti said.
But don't expect them anytime soon. The board will vote in the fall. If approved, they would likely be up and running in late 2017 or in the spring of 2018. The estimated cost for the Powell underground restrooms would be $225,000. The 19th Street bathrooms about $175,000.

"If the pilot program is successful, BART may move to expand the project to include all underground stations.

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