Boston Transit Agency to Try Urine Sensors on Elevators

It's not a new concept.

The MBTA hopes the program helps alleviate problems: Public urination is not only unsanitary but can also damage elevators.
The MBTA hopes the program helps alleviate problems: Public urination is not only unsanitary but can also damage elevators.
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BOSTON (AP) โ€” Urine trouble no more, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority hopes, with a new program to tackle public urination in system elevators with technology.

The MBTA, which services Boston and the surrounding area, is launching a pilot program this summer in which urine detection sensors will be placed in four downtown elevators. The sensors alert transit ambassadors, who can dispatch a cleaning crew, the Boston Herald reported.

The sensors on the ceiling of an elevator have an attached fan, which allows them to suck in air and โ€œbasically smell what is present,โ€ said Meghan Collins, a program/projects manager for MBTA.

The pilot kicks off in August. Data will be collected for several months before the agency makes a decision about whether to implement the program by year's end, the newspaper said.

It's not a new concept.

Nearly a decade ago, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority launched a pilot program that, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, triggered strobe lights, alarms and alerts to MARTA police when urine was detected in an elevator. The elevators were then inoperable until a cleaning. That program, deemed a success, was eventually expanded.

The MBTA hopes the program helps alleviate problems: Public urination is not only unsanitary but can also damage elevators, Collins said.

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