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BART Reopens Powell Street Station Restrooms for the First Time in 20 Years

To celebrate, BART’s hosting a toilet paper “ribbon cutting” on Feb. 2
By - posted 2/1/2022 No Comment

On Wednesday, February 2, 2022, at 11am, BART will hold a “ribbon-cutting” event with rolls of toilet paper to mark the reopening of the Powell Street Station restrooms that have been closed for more than 20 years. Restrooms at 10 of BART’s underground stations have been closed since 9/11 because of safety concerns. Powell Street Station’s two public restrooms are the first to reopen as part of the agency’s efforts to prioritize the needs of transit riders, especially now during the pandemic recovery.

“Reopening restrooms represents a big step towards delivering the world-class transit our riders deserve,” said BART Board member Bevan Dufty.  “I thank every individual who raised their voice to insist that bathrooms are a human right.  I also want to thank fellow BART Directors, General Manager Bob Powers and his management team.”

The restrooms are designed similar to an airport restroom using environmental design to promote safety.  The two restrooms are all-gender with LED lighting. The touchless sink is located outside of the restroom on the concourse making it easily accessible for those who just want to wash their hands. There is also a drinking fountain and water bottle filling station.

The restrooms will be staffed for at least the first two months to promote proper use of the space and offer staff presence. BART is bringing in community members from the Oakland-based organization District Works to serve as attendants.

Funding for the Powell restrooms comes from voter-approved measures including BART’s Measure RR, SFCTA’s Prop K, and the statewide infrastructure bond Prop 1B. The second underground station to have restrooms reopen will be the 19th Street Station in downtown Oakland on February 25, 2022.

BART plans a phased approach to reopening restrooms at the remaining underground stations based on available funding. Lake Merritt and Montgomery Street stations could be opened by summer of 2022. Downtown Berkeley and Embarcadero stations could open in the fiscal year 2023.

The remaining underground restrooms to be opened are at Civic Center, 16th St. Mission, 24th St. Mission and 12th St. Oakland stations. The estimated funding needed to reopen all of the closed restrooms is approximately $14 million through the fiscal year 2026.

Read more at BART.gov