SAN FRANCISCO - In response to an outraged father, BART officials tweeted they are doing hallway sweeps every 30 minutes after the man said he got off at the Powell Street station to find what appeared to be homeless people and addicts lying on the floor as he was taking his 4-year-old shopping at the Disney Store in Union Square.
"Our officers were notified and the sweeps will continue," BART tweeted at the father, known by his Twitter handled as @GiantsScott.
Took my 4 year old daughter to the @Disney Store in Union Square and this is what greated us at the Powell @SFBART station. Keep up the good work @MarkFarrellSF @sfbos @SFBART #sf @hknightsf @abc7newsbayarea @KTVU pic.twitter.com/3HbdDmmhkw— Scott (@GiantsScott) May 26, 2018
The father, who has not returned KTVU's immediate request for comment, had showed a video on May 26 of what the hallway looked like. He described on Twitter that there were three tourists ahead of him "who couldn't believe what they were seeing." Several people were sleeping or passed out on the floor. "Around the corner was another guy who had his pants down," @GiantsScott tweeted.
BART added: "We're hiring more cleaners and deploying them in different ways so we can speed up our responses to urgent issues on trains. Also working to boost employee and officer presence in the system. Work to do."
For the last month or so, BART officials, police and the mayor of San Francisco have been grappling with what to do about the rampant drug use in stations, dirty needles being left on the floor and homeless people sleeping in the hallways. BART and police have stepped up patrols and cleaning efforts. BART officials are also considering closing a walkway at the Civic Center station that is out of the way and serves as a popular spot for drug use and sales. In addition, BART officials say they try to connect people in need with the right social services as they ask them to leave.
Some of this reaction stemmed from another man, Shannon Gafford, who has been filming the drug use at BART stations to gain awareness and attention about the issue.
On Twitter, @ReallyJoco suggested increased security fencing, like at the New York City subway, would likely solve problems of people hopping over unlocked gates.
BART responded that the height barriers will be raised to five feet at the Civic Center station.
"We fully realize this is a challenge we need to face hea don and with greater resources," BART tweeted.