SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Bay Area Rapid Transit users have all experienced it; escalators that are down at their station. But what’s really behind the maintenance issues for the transit agency?

Officials said one of the main issues is the copious amounts of human excrement found in the escalator’s works, gumming up the wheels and gears. The bottom of BART’s stairwells often act as prime spots for the homeless to take shelter at night and in many cases, relieve themselves.

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KCBS, CBS 5 and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier:

Last month, work crews opened up the broken BART escalator at San Francisco’s Civic Center Station and found so much human waste that they had to call in a hazardous-materials team.

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BART police said there is little they can do about the problem as officers have to witness someone in the act to issue a citation.

Officials have begun the process of meeting with San Francisco leaders about cleaning up the plaza at San Francisco’s 16th Street Station. Currently, five of the nine escalators that aren’t working are located in downtown San Francisco.

You can hear Phil Matier’s comments Monday through Friday at 7:50am and 5:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

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