I’m a frequent transit rider, often daily. But something’s happening out on the road now that Metro KC isn’t really enforcing payments or doing much at all about bus camp-outs.
One recent day the number 12 stopped a few blocks short of my destination because the occupant of the entire back row – bags, blankets, clothing – went to the back door and urinated. He aimed outside at a stop, but most of his output landed on the floor.
The driver was furious. He yelled at the bus camper, stopped the bus, asked him why he peed on the floor, and was calling SPD when I left. He told me he doesn’t mind camp-outs but urinating on his bus is a step too far.
I walked on but the episode made me wonder. Given the need to have buses safe and clean and to actually get help and shelter to those now using the bus as a campground — why can’t we find better pathways to shelter and treatment? Perhaps interim places with services where those in need can camp safely while waiting for the shelter system to catch up. We don’t need a current look-away policy that compromises public safety while failing to help those homeless riders.