BART is Dirty

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    With absenteeism among BARTs car-cleaning staff at nearly 50 percent, it's no wonder the transit agency has a reputation for grime.

    A recent survey shows that riders are increasingly troubled by dirty seats. And BART board members agree, allocating funds to replace hard-to-clean cloth surfaces with more washable materials, according to the CC Times.

    The fiscal year for BART starts on July 1, at which point more funds will be available for cleaning and replacement. But it'll be awhile before riders actually see the seats change: the agency will need to test different surfaces before making the switch.

    Meanwhile, managers are unable to explain why half of the cleaning staff miss work every day. General Manager Paul Oversier suggested that the agency might offer "incentives" for employees to come to work.

    And BART's cars aren't the only one with hygiene problems. A new study in Sweden shows that "clean" cars that emit fewer emissions don't actually help the environment as much as was thought. Because drivers use them more often and for longer durations, emissions actually increased as more drivers bought the supposedly "eco-friendly" models.

    The conclusion drawn by researchers: the only way to reduce emissions is to improve access to public transit. Just remember to watch where you sit.