Mayor London Breed Announces Expansion of 24-Hour Pit Stops to Increase Sanitation During the COVID-19 Pandemic
18 existing Pit Stops will now be open around the clock during the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the total number of staffed 24-hour restroom locations in the City to 49.
San Francisco, CA —Mayor London N. Breed and San Francisco Public Works today announced that the City is vastly increasing the number of staffed Pit Stop public toilets that will operate around the clock, seven days a week, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The regular Pit Stop program in San Francisco has 24 locations throughout the City, three of which have been operating 24 hours a day. Another 15 of these existing Pit Stops will temporarily be open around the clock by the end of next week. Additionally, the City recently deployed 37 temporary portable Pit Stop public toilets and sinks that are staffed 24/7 near known encampment hot spots while the Stay Home Order is in effect.
In total, there now will be 49 staffed Pit Stop locations, with 67 toilets altogether, operating 24/7 in San Francisco.
“We have been pushing to open more staffed restrooms, including 24-hour facilities, in San Francisco, but this pandemic has really highlighted the urgent need for these facilities,” said Mayor Breed. “We’re moving as quickly as possible to bring homeless residents into hotels and other alternative housing sites during this pandemic, but we face real challenges now that we are unable to bring new clients into shelters due to the need to social distance. People living on the street need available facilities, and the fact that they are staffed helps to ensure that they remain open and operating.”
Overall, the City has 136 staffed public toilets at 62 locations, when park bathrooms are factored in. That number exceeds United Nations emergency sanitation standards, which call for a ratio of one toilet for every 50 unsheltered residents. Now, as the City faces the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, making more restrooms available 24 hours per day will help meet demand.
“We are committed to providing this critical service that offers San Francisco’s unhoused residents and others in need expanded access to staffed bathrooms that are clean and safe,” said Alaric Degrafinried, Acting Director of San Francisco Public Works, which manages the Pit Stop program.
The 24-hour Pit Stops already are available in the Tenderloin, Mission, South of Market, Bayview, Cathedral Hill, Haight, Richmond, Castro, and Civic Center neighborhoods. The expansion will add Mid-Market, Lower Polk, and The Embarcadero to the roster.