BART's four downtown San Francisco stations - Embarcadero, Montgomery, Powell and Civic Center - take a beating, not only from the 140,000 passengers who pour through them every weekday, but from the scores of homeless people who use them as bedrooms, restrooms and places to hang out.
The stations are not only the busiest but, arguably, the filthiest of the 44 in the BART system. Commuters are forced to run a gauntlet of grime: piles of feces and puddles of urine near the entrances, litter and discarded food on the floors, a coating of dust and dripping ooze on the walls.
"This is the most poorly cleaned station in the Bay Area," said Stephanie Lopez, 24, a pharmacy technician, standing in Civic Center Station. She rides BART from Pittsburg/Bay Point four days a week. "In the morning, I walk into the stairways and there's human feces there. Sometimes it's still there when I come back in the evening. It seems to take hours to clean it."By all means, let's build more light rail stations...even when they can't keep the ones they have fit for humans.