Miami’s $500,000 Pit Stop program is a success, according to Mayor Tomás Regalado and officials with the Downtown Development Authority. After just two months on the street, they say reports to the DDA’s cleanup crews about fecal waste have dropped from 100 in May to 43 in November around their two stations.
“They have worked, and they have worked well,” said Regalado.
Regalado joined members of the Downtown Development Authority on Friday afternoon to tout the results of the program, which was born out of a fight with the county’s Homeless Trust over solutions to complaints about feces and urine on the streets of downtown. The DDA, after learning the Trust would not pay for portable toilets for the homeless, produced a map showing human feces found on one Friday afternoon in downtown.
Back in June, after The Homeless Trust declined to participate, Mayor Tomás Regalado pledged the $500,000 for the six month pilot program.
But, as it turns out, it doesn’t actually cost the $100,000 a month to make four attendant-serviced porta potties available just seven hours a day on Second Street and Southwest First Court. The cost is less than half of what was initially expected, meaning the DDA gets twice the time for its program with the same amount of money pledged by the mayor.
So every day until October, two drivers in pickup trucks will roll into downtown at 2 p.m. and unhitch a trailer mounted with AES Portable Sanitation solar-powered portable toilets that will be picked up and hauled away at 9. They look an awful lot like porta potties, but are more like airplane bathrooms on wheels. They are serviced by a DDA attendee who gives a courtesy knock after 5 minutes signifying that it’s time to evacuate.
Primarily, they’re on the street to serve the homeless. But they’re open to the general public.
It looks like that even includes newly elected City Commissioner for District 2, Ken Russell.