ATLANTA, Ga. - Some East Point business owners say MARTA customers are constantly coming into their stores asking to use their restrooms because the MARTA station bathrooms are closed.
In one case, a woman couldn’t hold it and actually went to the bathroom on the store floor. At least one business owner is now telling MARTA enough is enough.
“It’s a very sad situation because these people come in out of desperation,” said Richard Ramey, who owns the East Point Flower Cottage.
Ramey has been an East Point business owner for more than 25 years, and he says MARTA’s restroom problems are now becoming his problem.
“I don’t have a public restroom, and trying to accommodate them is a burden on my business. It’s hard for me to say no,” said Ramey.
While Ramey says he hasn’t said no, he says it still leads to serious issues.
“We had one lady who went in there and she overdosed on something, so I had call police to come get her out,” said Ramey.
Ramey says another woman couldn’t make to his toilet in the back after running across the street from the East Point Marta Station.
“She was saying she needed a restroom right now, and she didn’t make it. It was right in my showroom floor. It was humiliating for her. I felt really bad for her. I really did,” said Ramey.
Some of business owners say they have seen MARTA customers run from the station over to nearby bushes so that they can go to the bathroom.
Channel 2’s Craig Lucie asked a MARTA rider if he had run into bathroom problems at MARTA stations.
“I have this morning, as a matter fact. I take water pills and use the bathroom frequently sometimes, so going back and forth on the train is very uncomfortable,” said Charles Thompson.
A customer shared a picture on Facebook that shows signs in the MARTA elevators that say they are "armed with a urine detection device."
When Channel 2 Action News contacted MARTA, it sent this statement:
"Unlike most major transit systems, MARTA has a total of 13 restrooms open for our customers at the end-of-line rail stations and major transfer points. A number of remaining restrooms were closed several years ago for staffing and budgetary reasons, including East Point. To enhance comfort and convenience, MARTA is now exploring new technology to make more restrooms available to customers in the near future.”