By Devin Fehely

FREMONT (KPIX 5) — BART is trying to tackle the persistent problem it has experienced with drug use at stations by limiting the amount of time passengers can spend inside its bathrooms.

“It could easier be cleaner. There’s too many people standing around doing nothing. And I’ve noticed that a lot,” said passenger Rahimu Pettit.

Passengers have been critical of the transit agency in recent months and years, complaining about open drug use, dirty conditions and crime. A BART spokesperson said the transit agency is trying to clean up its act and its image.

“It’s our hope that the signs will deter behaviors that represent a threat to public safety such as intravenous drug use or using fentanyl,” BART Spokesperson Jim Allison wrote in an email statement.

BART has posted large orange signs warning passengers about a 10 minute limit on bathroom use at several stations throughout its system. KPIX 5 put the new policy to the test at the Fremont BART station Wednesday afternoon, locking a reporter inside one of the bathrooms for 15 to 20 minutes before finally leaving.

No one seemed to notice and no one knocked on the door to let the reporter know time was up.

Many passengers say the bathrooms would have to get a whole lot safer and cleaner before they’d use them even with the new policy in place.

“My general impression of BART is that it’s not very clean; it’s not very sanitary. I don’t use restrooms in the BART system,” said a BART passenger who only identified herself as Jill.

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