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San Francisco Mayoral Candidates Address Safety On Public Transit

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- Many people who take San Francisco Muni on a daily basis say they've seen a lot of disturbing behavior on the buses and trains, but nothing like what one rider saw on a recent trip.

A rider took photos of a man with an uncapped syringe filled with liquid sitting on his man's lap as he was riding the M train Saturday afternoon.

A KPIX 5 staffer took the photos and says the three men all appeared high and out of it.

He says it's a scene he's seen time and time again.

Only this time, he felt trapped on a moving train, with a man holding an uncapped needle directly across from him.

So, what's being done about it? That's what we asked some of San Francisco's mayoral candidates at Monday night's debate.

Mayoral candidate Angela Alioto said, "That scene the other night in the BART Civic Center was stunning to me. We have to get them help immediately and not allow them to be on the street at all."

Mayoral candidate Mark Leno said, "It's on public transportation. It's on our streets. I'm all for more presence of law enforcement on our Muni cars."

Amy Farah Weiss, also a candidate for San Francisco mayor said, "The city currently spends millions of dollars on fare evasion officers. What if we have a group of safety riders that are being able to be an unarmed network that connect people to services that they need?"

SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose said, "This is a tragic sight that no one wants to see or experience while riding Muni…We are continuing to work with the San Francisco Police Department to ensure that everyone has a safe and comfortable ride on public transit."

Muni says the trains are getting safer and crime has dropped year over year since 2013.

They credit part of that to more surveillance cameras and police patrols.

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