OAKLAND (KCBS) — A recent BART board meeting revealed that riders take cleanliness seriously. In passenger surveys they have it rated right alongside safety and reliability. But the absenteeism rate of staff is prohibiting the trains to look their best.

BART’s Operations manager and second in command Paul Oversier admitted the system was not meeting its goal on car washing.

“It’s an issue we’re going to try to deal with, but quite frankly we don’t want additional workers. We need to do a better job of incentivizing the people that we have, to come to work,” Oversier said.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

Oversier added that the absentee rate of those responsible for the job of washing cars was a staggering 46 percent. He estimated the legitimate use of sick time for those absentees is at a rate of 20-25 percent.

Oversier said additional help is being added to car washing duty, by temporarily moving other staff around while managers tried to figure out why there is such a huge absenteeism rate.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (12)
  1. SF says:

    My friend discovered a fecal present left on one of the seats yesterday! How is this possible? Nevermind the basic car-washing, what about the interiors?

  2. mexlook says:

    These LAZY bart workers should be cleaning the inside of the trains.
    The seats could use a good scrubbing with disinfect.spray..at least once a week.
    The floors are caked with god knows what..Wear gloves before you touch any thing in these germ filled trains..

  3. kaj says:

    Just another case of mis- management!!! The employee absence rate is ultimately the responsibility of management. Obviously, this was allowed to happen over a period of time eventually becoming a part of the accepted culture of the maintenance department. Any company with an absence rate of 46% wouldn’t last long, but BART can allow this to happen assuring that eventually they will be asking me to pony up more money to ride the system…….CRAZY and PATHETIC!!! Another example of what really goes on inside an organization. Mis-management like this is OUTRAGEOUS!!!!

  4. Benhamine Walker says:

    There they go with that B’shuckings again…Hire some people…It’s always the workers fault…And not upper management who make 2 to 3 hundred thousand dollars….with all the perks medical for life after 5 years and 40 to 50 thousand dollars added to their retirement after 5 years of employment….Remember it’s the workers fault…..

  5. Davis P says:

    KCBS Radio just reported on the dirty EXTERIOR of BART cars.  They just interviewed Paul Oversier, BART’s 2nd in command, who says there’s a 46% vacancy rate on Car Cleaner Personnel.  The problem is: Car Cleaners DON’T do the exteriors – they clean the interiors – carpet, seats, windows, etc. The exteriors are cleaned by running the train through a HUGE building called a Train Washer or Wash Rack.

    BART used to have people that cleaned the outside, they were called ECCs or Exterior Car Cleaners. Those people were all laid off, years ago, due to budget cuts. We definitely need the ECCs back, along with more people to clean the insides.

  6. Peter says:

    The media used to pursue a story like this to its roots of why the problem exists. Now they publish the story, get everyone upset, and then go onto thenext sensational story without ensuring through follow-up coverage that somtthing is done about the problem.

  7. ptown says:

    oh yeah,,, thats what we need more lazy BART workers. nothing like getting on the train in pleasanton at 5am and finding homeless people on it already becuz they’ve been sleeping in them all night…nice security BART!
    Or how about train operators pulling into stations and announcing they’re leaving the train for a few moments and not coming back for 5-7 minutes! and then you send bart and email (with your returen email) asking how can this happen and they never reply??
    or how about escalators that are out of service for weeks??

  8. Jay Tomjanovich says:

    Bart should follow the southwest airlines method where the southwest ticket agent also cleans planes, boards passengers at the gate and is also the flight attendant. Bart agents should put their coffee down, get off their tails and clean a train once in awhile. Look at the Bart agent and see what they do for $80K ( ) per year…. They do very little. Watch passengers go through the gates and give a direction or two once in awhile.

  9. Helen Ironmonger says:

    I like riding B.A.R.T. and read your CBS article about B.A.R.T. cleanliness. I think that as long as a B.A.R.T. train is not counterfeit that I don’t mind its condition.

  10. Shannon says:

    Obviosly they are poorly managed and have way to much paid sick leave. No goverment employee’s would make it in the private sector where you produce or get fired. Its starts at the top i gues they just dont have any work ethic or pride in what they do and the results they produce. They all just want to make as much as they can and do as little as possible this is all govt employees… well except for the polliticians they work hard to line there own pockets at the expense of the tax payers Also the riders need to exercise a little consideration and not make such a mess clean up after yourself so everyone does’nt have to ride in a garbage can. Unfortunatly most blacks and mexicans think its perfectly ok to just throw your trash down where ever they are…. i guess they dont mind living like pigs, I dont think they grasp the whole concept of sanitation, if you doubt me just go somewhere they frequent and you will see

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