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The student news site of Amador Valley High School


The student news site of Amador Valley High School


The student news site of Amador Valley High School


Gum, stains, trash: How BART deep cleans its trains

(Photo courtesy of the Bay Area Rapid Transit)
A cleaner thoroughly mops the floor of a train car.

The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) uses a thorough cleaning regimen for passenger safety and hygiene. According to the BART website, all trains must follow the same detailed rotating cleaning schedule.

Every night, cleaning workers take on a crucial task: inspecting and cleaning every arriving train car. Workers are required to inspect and clean every car that arrives at the station. While inspecting, they decide what type of procedure each car needs.

Methods of BART cleaning

In a recent article by the BART website, “Rose Burditt, the foreworker who oversees overnight train car cleaning at Daly City Yard, inspects every single car that rolls into and out of her zone – up to 100 cars a shift.” 

The most thorough, and important step is a process that takes around 2 hours for two BART cleaners to complete. This process includes professional-grade products, time, and effort for each surface for all trains.

Additionally, the BART website states, “a controlled multi-step clean that requires cleaners scrub every surface of a train car, from ceiling to baseboards.” 

Another method is the standard cleaning process, that includes a sterile procedure that isn’t as timely as the thorough cleaning.

“Depending on time constraints, cleaners may sweep cars for debris, disinfect seats and poles, scrub graffiti, spray hanging straps with disinfectant, and mop the floor,” said the BART website.

The last procedure is litter pickup. This includes a brief cleaning of trash and messes in the cars and around the station. 

“Cleaners hop aboard train cars at the end of the line and sweep up litter and messes.” said the BART website.

Daily cleaning procedures exist, but major messes can sideline a car. The trains are put out of order until they are fully sanitized and cleaned.

“If a car has a major mess, it will be removed from service and cleaned before it is returned to service,” said the BART website.

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