San Francisco's subway has a creative solution to stop its elevators from smelling like urine

San Francisco’s public transit system, BART, came up with a solution to stop its elevators from serving as public restrooms — or at least, to stop them from smelling like one.

This week, the agency will start misting a bacteria-eating enzyme in a single elevator shaft at the well-travelled and particularly stinky Civic Center station. It will release the chemical concoction every hour and won’t interrupt passengers, SFGate reports.

The so-called “self flush and sanitizing system” is part of a $2 million effort to fight BART’s stench problem. The agency also plans to tear up the floorboards of 80 elevators and replace them with a coated material that makes the elevators water-tight. While it may prevent urine from seeping into the machinery, it’s unclear whether sealing the urine is the best solution for smell.

If the misting system at Civic Center works, BART wants to install it at other downtown San Francisco and Oakland locations. The work on the floors is expected to be complete in April.

In 2012, the Civic Center station made headlines when a work crew pulled apart a broken escalator and discovered so much human excrement inside, they had to call a hazardous-materials team.

So, yes, it could be worse.

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