A video filmed in Seattle shows dozens of reported homeless people using the city’s public light rail system as a shelter to sleep.
“A Sound Transit employee took a shocking video that shows approximately 30 homeless people using light rail as a homeless shelter. Why is this happening?” KTTH radio host Jason Rantz tweeted Monday.
The video pans across multiple Sound Transit cars, showing dozens of people slumped over and sleeping. Rantz reported that the video was filmed on May 2 at the Angle Lake Station.
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A few of the people are seen sleeping across multiple seats, while a handful of others are awake and leaning next to their belongings. A Sound Transit employee told Rantz similar situations unfold routinely.
A view of the Seattle skyline on July 21, 2021.
(Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
A Sound Transit spokesperson said the “severity of the problem displayed in the video is particularly concerning” but called video of the scene “new information for us,” according to Rantz.
“We are also aware that operators are frustrated with these ongoing problems,” a spokesperson for Sound Transit told Fox News Digital later Monday.
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“While most riders during the day are having a safe and reliable experience, problems are acute at times of lower ridership and when support staffing is lower, such as early in the morning and later in the evening,” the spokesperson added in their comment to Rantz.
Security vendors for Sound Transit are tasked with walking through the cars at the end of the line and to ask riders to exit.
“The security vendor failed to perform this duty in this case,” the spokesperson said of the video.
“We have several efforts underway to try and address the challenges that the agency is experiencing on Link. They focus on centering compassion while ensuring the transit environment is physically and psychologically safe for both riders and operators,” the spokesperson added.
People sleep outside on a sidewalk on April 6, 2020, in Seattle.
(Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
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Sound Transit’s board of directors voted last month to overhaul its fare enforcement protocols in a bid to address concerns over equity. The new policies include: increasing the number of warnings issued to riders who don’t pay so the issue is less likely to wind up in civil court; not suspending people from the system over nonpayment, the Seattle Times reported.
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In other cities such as New York, homelessness within the subway system contributed to a fall in ridership early this year, as New Yorkers voiced concerns over their safety. Mayor Eric Adams launched a plan in February to remove the homeless who sheltered in subways.