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— The El Cajon Transit Center performs a variety of functions. In addition to the Green and Orange Lines, four bus lines pick up and drop off passengers there. Inside a small building, monthly transit passes are sold from a snack bar. The Greyhound bus company has a ticket window and picks up passengers heading out of San Diego to the east.

The men's and women's restrooms lie down small hallways from the two entrances on either side of the building. The snack bar occupies the center between the two passages, making them narrow and dark. The bathrooms are similar to Old Town's, with three metallic fixtures, including a basin but no mirror. Despite the work of a cleaning lady six days a week, their run-down aspect makes them feel filthy.

There is almost constant demand for the facilities. In broken English, not all of which I understand, the cleaning lady tells me that people get mad at her when she has to close the bathroom for cleaning. She does that several times a day. Someone will want to use one of the fixtures at the same time she is cleaning another. Then she says, while pinching her nose, "They even make poo-poos in the hall outside the door."

From behind the snack bar, another lady tells me, "Oh, they are always urinating in those halls. And did you see the rainwater dripping into the bucket back there? The biggest problem we have, though, is people stealing the toilet paper. Then they come to me and complain that there isn't any in the bathroom. Besides bus and trolley riders, a lot of alcoholics come in here. The worst is on Sunday, because that's her [the cleaning lady's] day off. There's nothing I can do about the toilet paper. I'm running a snack bar, and we're a private company. The upkeep of the building is the responsibility of [the Metropolitan Transit System]. We close at eight o'clock, but the trolley lets people come in and out of the cold until 11:00. They own the building, and they do send someone in once each morning to clean. But my boss hires our cleaning lady because he doesn't want it to get so bad in here."

It's easy to understand how, with as much traffic as goes through the station, the bathroom problem becomes so bad. But there is little doubt that the bathrooms are needed. Maybe George Brown is right. There should be restrooms on both sides of the trolley tracks, with 10 to 20 fixtures in each one.

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