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.
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The sensors on the ceiling of an elevator have an attached fan, which allows them to suck in air and “basically smell what is present,” 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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The Associated Press contributed to this article.