One portable toilet provided while transit center awaits bathroom upgrades

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Alvarado Transportation Center in downtown Albuquerque is always hustling and bustling with people day and night. However, if anyone needs to use the restroom, they’re out of luck.

Patricia Gonzalez said she’s at the Alvarado Transportation Center every day to go to work. She and other passengers like Suzanna Snyder wait for their bus at the ATC and it’s one of the main hubs in the state for people to connect to local or long-distance rides. However, as people are waiting, they don’t have access to the center’s lobby. This means, they also don’t have access to the restrooms inside.

“They’re all closed, they’re all closed,” said Snyder. “There’s no way to get into them.” The city said they closed the lobby at the start of the pandemic for public health reasons and it has remained closed for upgrades to make it ADA compliant. If people like Gonzalez and Snyder have to well, go, they’re left with one option. “And it’s- you don’t want to even go in there,” said Snyder.

With the public restrooms closed in the lobby, people said a porta-potty is the only thing they have. “Yeah it’s bad, it’s not good,” said Gonzalez. “I won’t use it.” People are also using the porta-potty as a place to use drugs. “I wouldn’t use it out here,” said Gonzalez. “That’s why they need to open the bathrooms for everybody else.”

Although KRQE News 13 didn’t see any drugs or needles around the porta-potty, the city said it gets cleaned daily. But as it sits in the hot sun with trash building up and even the handwashing station looks uncleanly, it’s no wonder why Snyder wants to get out of town, fast.

“Terrible because now I want to go home and I didn’t want to be home at first but there’s no place like home if it’s like this downtown,” said Snyder. The city says they hope to reopen the lobby within the next few weeks.

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