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BART opens underground restrooms for the first time since 9-11

Cora Middleton
Flickr / Creative Commons
BART's Powell Street Station in San Francisco

BART closed its public restrooms at the Powell Street Station and eight other underground stations for security reasons in the immediate aftermath of the 9-11 al-Qaeda attacks against the United States.

The toilet facilities were closed because of fears that the ventilation systems could be used to stage terrorist attacks.

BART says the fully-remodeled white-tiled restrooms, with two stainless steel toilets, will be available for passengers at one of BART’s busiest stations.

The restroom stalls at Powell Street Station restrooms will be all-gender, with no door separating them from the station, to prevent users from locking themselves in. A handwashing sink will be located outside the restroom. An attendant will remain on duty and the bathroom will be cleaned six times-a-day.

KTVU reports the restrooms at BART’s 19th Street Station in Oakland will also reopen in three weeks, as part of a pilot program. The subway system plans to reopen restrooms later this year at BART’s Lake Merritt Station in Oakland and Montgomery in San Francisco.

The restrooms at BART's Lake Merritt Station in Oakland and The Embarcadero Station in San Francisco are slated to open next year.

Reopening all of the shuttered restrooms is scheduled to be completed by 2026 and will cost about $14 million.