Railway workers built secret apartments in train stations

Two railway workers in California were fired by Caltrain after the company realized they had quietly converted unused offices into secret apartments to avoid the area's brutal commutes. The two men, former Caltrain Deputy Director Joseph Navarro and contractor Seth Andrew Worden, were also charged with felonies for misusing public funds to add showers, kitchenettes and toilets to historic sections of Burlingame and Millbrae stations.

Transit workers found Worden's Millbrae apartment in 2020, but didn't discover Navarro's secret hideaway inside the Burlingame station until an anonymous tip in 2022. Both were fired. … District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told the San Francisco Standard that the apartments were a "convenience" for the two former railway workers. "They figured the Bay Area [commute] really is lousy," he said.

It's funny they built their secret apartments for less than $50,000, and got away with it (until they didn't) by keeping outlays under a $3,000 threshold that avoided triggering scrutiny of the transactions. The cost to build a unit of affordable housing in the area? $900,000, reportedly. Can't so much as poop in the Bay Area without a generously-compensated official assessing an impact fee for your prepositional flatus.

Previously: Veteran built a secret apartment in Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium