BART is Paying Workers to Man a Station With No Trains

What would you rather be: a train dispatch supervisor for a station with no trains for $90,000 a year or a janitor at a station with trains for $250,000 a year? At BART, anything's possible.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports on the latest headscratcher going on at Bay Area Rapid Transit.

For the past five months, BART has been staffing its yet-to-open Warm Springs Station full time with five $73,609-a-year station agents and an $89,806-a-year train dispatch supervisor — even though no trains will be running there for at least another two months.


Two janitors are also assigned to the empty station. But because it’s pretty clean — what with nobody using it — the custodians typically clock in, then commute in a BART sedan to other stations along the line to finish out their shifts.

Under BART’s union contract, employees can sign up for station positions only twice a year. So when the time came in August, BART took the chance to hire operators under the assumption it would be ready to go just a few months later.

“Imagine if we were ready to open in November, but didn’t have staff and had to wait until February to open. That would have been poor planning,” said BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost.

Only they weren’t open by November. And it’s not clear when they will be. For now, BART says the operators are passing the time prepping the station and patrolling it to prevent vandalism.

Hey, they could always kill some time in a closet like this guy.



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