SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Officials with BART have recently been taking heat from passengers over filthy trains and unhealthy stations, but the transit agency is fighting back with a new function on its mobile website.
The app is set to launch Monday and will give the public an opportunity to report problems and help keep the system clean.
“You go up the tunnel and there’s people on the stairs and they are using needles or they are smoking,” said BART rider Jay Sethi
“Human waste is something I’ve seen frequently,” said BART commuter Jocelyn Vazquez.
BART has launched a rapid response team to clean up bio hazards at the MacArthur and Lake Merritt stations. The team includes 14 workers. The agency plans to add five more.
BART is also making it easier for riders to report biohazard issues like needles and human waste on trains that need be cleaned up. A form submit reports will be available on the mobile BART website starting Monday.
But some argue the form won’t address the root of the problem. Maurice Benton tells KPIX 5 he has lived on the streets. He thinks the city and BART aren’t doing enough.
“Both have more money they can put into different programs for the drug offenders, for the homeless people,” said Benton.
BART board member and former San Francisco homeless czar Bevan Dufty spoke to KPIX 5’s Phil Matier Sunday morning. Dufty is putting blame on the city for growing homeless and drug use at stations.
“BART is a transit agency we are not a social service agency,” said Dufty “Don’t tell me you don’t have resources to dedicate shelter beds. We got to have people step up because it’s an unacceptable situation in San Francisco. And I think that BART has stepped up and is going its share.”
San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell announced this past week he is increasing the budget to fight homeless to the tune of $29 million.
“The biggest thing is to get them help. If we can get them help, we can definitely make an impact,” said BART passenger Sethi.