Pedestrians at the main entrance to the Downtown Berkeley BART station. August 26, 2020. Photo: Pete Rosos
Downtown Berkeley BART on Shattuck Avenue. Photo: Pete Rosos

All-gender restrooms at Downtown Berkeley BART reopened Friday, 22 years after BART first closed 10 underground bathrooms amid security concerns from 9/11.

The bathroom will have an attendant during business hours to “greet riders and discourage unwanted behavior,” according to BART. The agency said it has also installed new toilets, sinks and hand dryers, refreshed wall tiles and upgraded the bathroom to LED lighting.

“Reopening restrooms is something our customers have been demanding. Restrooms are essential to everyone and opening them is one of the many steps we’re taking to improve the BART rider experience,” BART board member Rebecca Saltzman said in a news release.

BART began the push to reopen bathrooms at its stations by 2026 with a “toilet-paper-cutting” and “first-flush ceremony” cutting at Powell Street station in San Francisco in February 2022, the Mercury News reported.

Today, the agency also reopened a much-needed bathroom at the Embarcadero station in San Francisco.

Stations at 12th St. in downtown Oakland; Civic Center, 16th St. Mission and 24th St. Mission in San Francisco are still closed, and BART says they will reopen after “extensive renovations.”

Supriya Yelimeli is a housing and homelessness reporter for Berkeleyside and joined the staff in May 2020 after contributing reporting since 2018 as a freelance writer. Yelimeli grew up in Fremont and...