Dozens of drug users -- some slumped over and others shooting up -- are becoming near-permanent fixtures at some San Francisco rail stations, with a shocking video this week showing rush hour commuters hurrying past the addicts to reach the trains.
The video, taken at the Civic Center BART and Muni stations, also appeared to show a group of unconscious men and women -- and vomit -- on both sides of the hallway.
“Every day. Every morning. 5:30 to 6 o’clock. You can see there’s dozens of them. Needles everywhere. Crack. Heroin,” Shannon Gafford, who shot the video, told CBS San Francisco.
San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell vowed to make sure something gets done.
“The situation in our BART stations is simply unacceptable,” he told the station. “Borders on disastrous.”
San Francisco BART officials expressed concerns after the video surfaced.
BART Director Bevan Dufty, who is responsive for the Civic Center Station, told CBS San Francisco the video was “very sobering” and it discourages commuters.
“We’re losing some riders, and I know it’s because of these circumstances,” Dufty said. “And so we’re going to work very hard to see a change.”
An increased police presence would be needed to combat the open drug use, BART police Lt. Gil Lopez told the station, adding there aren’t enough officers to combat homelessness and drugs.
“I know that riders want to see a more visible presence that is a deterrent, and I want people to know this is a priority to us as BART, and me as the director responsible for this station,” Dufty said.