Public urination is a “daily problem” in some MARTA stations. “The smell [of urine] hits you so bad. You hold your breath just to hurry up and get off the elevator,” one rider told WSBTV.
MARTA CEO Keith Parker discussed the issue at the State of MARTA event held earlier this month. He relayed an anecdote about riding the train with his family one weekend.
“To be candid, and I don’t want to ruin anyone’s breakfast, but there was a pungent smell of urine on the elevator,” Parker said.
In attempt address the problem, Parker said MARTA installed a detector on one of its 111 elevators last month: “If a person were to misbehave in that elevator, we’re notified almost immediately.”
The detector consists of 10 small sensors on each side of the elevator at its base. If a sensor is hit by urine splash, it immediately notifies MARTA police. In addition to sensors, the program also calls for better lighting and cameras in the elevators to document any urination violations. Parker told of one successful instance during the pilot program which led to an arrest; police caught a violator “quite literally, with his pants down.”
The solitary arrest that Parker mentioned was the only one during the month-long testing program, WSBTV reported. This could perhaps be attributed to the warning signs that accompany the detector, deterring potential violators.
Watch the WSBTV video below for more on MARTA’s urine detectors.