Littered bus stops create problems for Tucsonans

Trash at bus stops

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Lois Pawlak spends at lease an hour a week, every week, for the past 10 years cleaning up the bus stops in her Garden District.

It’s not her job, but one she feels she has to volunteer for.

"It takes a half hour to clean up a bus stop," she says. "About a hundred cigarette butts."

She's picked up thousands of cigarette butts over the years.

"We all know the broken window theory," she said. "The cleaner we keep it, the more we police it to keep out the bad element, the nicer it's going to be."

"We applaud her efforts to keep her neighborhood clean, said Sam Credio, the Deputy Director for Tucson Transportation. "But it's not something she should have to do."

The city has a contract with a company called Advision to keep its 1,789 bus stops clean.

But Pawlak doesn't feel like it's doing its job in all cases.

There are some bus stops which are clean and some are not.

Long time bus rider, Edward Shelby, feels the same way.

"You can go to some bus stops and they are nice and clean," he said. "But there are others that are not."

If fact, he says some are just filthy.

Pawlak and Advision have been going round and round in an email exchange in the past couple of weeks.

The company told her it gets three or four complaints a week, a small number for all the bus stops it cleans.

“We feel we do an outstanding job,” said Charlie Marino, the Chief Operating Officer for Advision, in an email.

But the city of Tucson says it's not so sure.

“I think the feedback is important for the city as well as for the contractor,” Credio said. “It allows us to have a conversation about what they’re doing wrong, about what they’re not doing so well.”

Advision did not return several phone calls made today.

We found the bus stop at Grant and Alvernon to be a mess with paper, plastic, discarded cigarette packages and a sticky mess on the concrete.

While a mile away, in the same neighborhood, at Pima and Columbus, the bus stop was clean.

How to maintain that level at all bus stops may be an overwhelming task.

“It’s so frustrating,” said Pawlak. “I’m not sure it’s ever going to change.”

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