10/26/2012 08:59 pm ET

BART Trains: Now With Less Gross

Good news, everyone!

BART trains are officially at their least gross level ever. So let's all break out the arugula and eat a healthy, seasonal salad entirely off floor of the next six-car Pittsburg/Bay Point train!

Well, maybe we're not going to go that far. But according to a survey of passengers presented to the BART Board of Directors on Thursday, the overall cleanliness of the system's traincars is higher than ever before.

For the past 15 years, BART has asked randomly selected riders for their opinions on how clean the trains are--rated on a numeric scale with one being completely disgusting and five being OCD-level clean. For the period between July and September of this year, the average of the results cracked 2.7 for the first time in recorded (BART) history.

Getting a B- grade on the cleanliness of something that millions of people a year put their butts on is actually pretty impressive when you stop to think about it. But don't stop to think about it too hard (because it's still a little gross).

BART officials credited the increased cleanliness rating to the new vinyl seat covers.

"Customers tell us that they place great value on our tremendous reliability, but having cleaner trains is certainly welcome and reflects our greater priority on cleanliness," said BART Board of Directors President John McPartland in a statement. "Our interior car modifications, including the easier-to-clean seats and floors, should make things more pleasant for BART riders."

Presently, a little over 200 traincars have been outfitted with the new seats and BART officials hope to get them installed throughout the entire fleet by 2015.

This survey was taken as the system broke usage records left and right. Ridership was up six percent from the same time last year and one particularly busy weekend--with Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, Fleet Week and the America's Cup all happening at once--saw the highest numbers in the BART's history.

A total of 319,484 people rode BART that Saturday, obliterating the previous record of 287,586, which dated back to a day in 2007 when the Bay Bridge was closed for construction.

“It's great to see you invest in something and see it pay off,” BART Director Tom Radulovich told the San Francisco Examiner. “I think our passengers are really responding to our efforts to improve the BART system.”

While BART's trains may be cleaner than ever, some of the system's stations still leave something to be desired.

Earlier this year, when BART officials looked into why some of the escalators at San Francisco Civic Center Station were broken, they discovered the culprit was an excess buildup of human feces in the machinery.

Well, you can't win 'em all.



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