Bacteria, Mold Fill BART Seats

Cloth seats harder to clean, allow dangerous bacteria to thrive
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2011 6:25 AM CST
SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 05: A commuter looks on as a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train pulls into a station July 5, 2005 in San Francisco, California. With a strike deadline looming at the end of the...   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – If you are fighting for a seat on San Francisco's BART trains, maybe you should think again—the seats are full of nasty bacteria, including a drug-resistant strain of staphylococcus aureus superbug, and several types of mold, says a new report commissioned by The Bay Citizen. “I would love to sit down, but it just grosses me out," says one 26-year-old passenger. "They’re disgusting."

The BART trains have cloth seats, which are more difficult to clean and allow bacteria to grow in the fibers. But experts pooh-poohed the fecal bacteria dangers. “I suspect it’s not a very big problem,” says one doctor. “That said, if there’s another way to do it, where you can clean it better, then you should do it.” A BART spokesperson said the results were “not surprising,” and that riders should use the hand sanitizers available at the stations.

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