SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Climbing aboard a San Francisco Muni bus will soon be the first step to feeling clean and fresh, thanks to startup Lava Mae.
The startup has planned for about a year to transform old city buses into hygiene and sanitation centers for the city’s homeless population because there are only about a dozen permanent shower stalls available in San Francisco
Lava Mae has created a video explaining the need:
The organization will roll out the first decommissioned bus – now outfitted with two shower and toilet stations – beginning in May, according to the the company website. The vehicle will reportedly rotate between locations in the Bayview, Tenderloin and Mission neighborhoods, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Water will be supplied via hookups with fire hydrants.
Founder Doniece Sandoval has said she plans to retrofit the vehicles to allow access for disabled residents. According to a 2013 San Francisco Examiner report, Sandoval expects to draw about 100 to 130 people a day with the first bus. She said last year that the conversions would cost up to $100,000 per bus, with three more planned after the original bus’ rollout.
“By 2015, we’ll have 4 buses on the road providing 2,000+ showers per week,” says the group’s website.
The organization has landed more than a dozen partners, including the Union Square Business District, Hotel Council of San Francisco, Kohler faucets and the San Francisco Department of Public Health.