In news that'll make you never want to ride BART again, the Chronicle reveals the reason why the BART station escalators don't work for shit:
When work crews pulled open a broken BART escalator at San Francisco's Civic Center Station last month, they found so much human excrement in its works they had to call a hazardous-materials team.
While the sheer volume of human waste was surprising, its presence was not. Once the stations close, the bottom of BART station stairwells in downtown San Francisco are often a prime location for homeless people to camp for the night or find a private place to relieve themselves.All those biological excretions can gum up the wheels and gears of BART's escalators, shutting them down for long periods of extended repairs, increasing station cleaning costs and creating an unpleasant aroma for morning commuters.
As you might have guessed, there isn't much BART or SFPD can do. With limited public restrooms for the homeless to access, especially at night, the BART escalators provide one of the few safe places to poo. And SFPD can only cite someone for letting loose if they witness the act itself--something that they rarely do (and probably don't want to, either).
Save some investment in shit-resistant escalators, this is BART's reality to deal with.
Have a lovely commute home!