BART commuters have seen it all before: escalators out of service. But now, the truth is out about why so many in downtown San Francisco are unusable. It’s “the human waste factor.”

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, when crews pulled open the broken escalator at the Civic Center Station, they “found so much human excrement in its works they had to call a hazardous-materials team.” TMI in my opinion!

BART’s downtown San Francisco stations are often shelters for the homeless, who can stay on the stairwells and out of the unpredictable weather for the night. And obviously, they are using those stairwells and escalators as their own personal porta-potty.

BART’s hands are tied because authorities can’t issue citations unless people are caught in the act defecating or urinating in public. In fact, as of this week, five of the nine escalators in the system that aren’t working are located at downtown San Francisco stations.

A lack of restrooms that are open late at night and no security guards to watch the stations are just part of the problem, with no real solution in sight.

BART officials have begun preliminary discussions with San Francisco leaders to talk about the cleanliness of some of the stations in the city.