The transit agency confirmed that the three workers worked a combined 7,900 hours of overtime in 2016.
One worker alone more than doubled his regular base pay of about $60,000 by earning an additional $125,573 in overtime.
BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said the workers took extra shifts that others passed up on. She said the costs were incurred because the agency was just trying to maintain its heavily trafficked stations.
“(The janitors worked overtime) to basically try and keep on top of how dirty the stations get and we hear a lot of ‘Oh you’re paying them this much and it is still so dirty,’” she said. “My response is – imagine what it would be like without the work they are doing and without the overtime shifts.”
“These are employees who are literally cleaning up feces, urine, needles. They are scrubbing elevators.”
Trost also cited issues with San Francisco homeless hanging around the stations.
“We have a homeless issue at our downtown San Francisco stations,” she told KCBS. “They are allowed to be there – it’s a free area – but it is causing a cleanliness issue. That on top of just the normal ridership.”
Several BART riders were upset when KCBS asked them about the overtime.
“I think it’s abusive when it comes to taxpayer dollars,” a rider told KCBS. “They need to contain the costs for the consumers. We are the ones — the taxpayers, the BART riders — who are the ones paying the cost. If I can lower my transportation costs on BART than that is what I want to do.”
Another, however, had sympathy for the workers and the conditions they are addressing.
“I don’t know how long it takes to clean up, but I can imagine it’s quite a job,” she told KCBS.
The agency has now frozen overtime for its janitors and was looking to hire four additional janitors to maintain the downtown San Francisco stations.