San Francisco leaders unveiled a plan Wednesday to collect drug needles discarded by users and addicts from the Civic Center BART station, one of the city’s busiest stations.
Needle kiosks for people to discard their drug needles are already set up around San Francisco and the city reportedly collect about 275, 000 used syringes every month.
BART’s Civic Center station recently became the system’s first station with its own needle kiosk and according to some riders, it was long overdue.
"When you, you know, work near the Tenderloin, you sort of get used to it," said BART commuter Damian Wisniewski. "Especially with the needles, that’s sort of what freaks me out."
The small kiosk at the U.N. Plaza BART entrance is part of an overall plan rolled out Wednesday by city and agency officials to cut down on drug activity or at least the needles and debris.
The plan also calls for increased police presence and more support for the homeless.
"We will be increasing our foot patrol presence about five-fold by adding approximately 500 patrol hours weekly to this effort," said San Francisco Police Department Chief William Scott.
Many riders say they’ve seen the progress but remain skeptical.
"The last week or two I’ve noticed a difference, but based on what I’ve seen the past year, I don’t expect this to last," said Wisniewski.
Officials say they expect the addition of police patrols and needle kiosks will have a positive impact and they hope to continue seeing improvements.