SamTrans buses appear to be dropping off homeless in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- SamTrans buses from the Peninsula appear to be regularly dropping off homeless people in San Francisco with no place to go.

Security guards captured video of it happening at Washington and Drumm in San Francisco. The bus comes to the end of the line and then the driver tells everyone to get out. The security guards said they saw several homeless people get off the bus and disappear into the darkness.

ABC7 News contributor Phil Matier broke the exclusive story in this morning's Chronicle. He asked San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin about the practice, he called it "unconscionable" saying it appears that agencies are playing musical chairs with the homeless.

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"When you see the video it is kind of a shock, because you realize then that there really is no place for these people to go. They literally just melt into the night," said Matier.

"From what we understand these are homeless people who end up at SFO and are specifically given a SamTrans token to go back to San Francisco," said Dan Lieberman, SamTrans Public Affairs Specialist.

Police at SFO hand out bus tokens when BART's service ends because the homeless can't stay there. They aren't ticketed airline passengers. The bus can take them to Palo Alto or San Francisco.

"Giving people rides is what we do here. If someone pays their fare and wants to get on the bus we are going to take them on the bus," said Lieberman.

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Matier said this cycle did not please those he reached out to in San Francisco.

"The San Francisco group was not too happy to find out one that this was happening and two that possibly there was boomeranging back from their own airport," said Matier.

This comes as San Francisco is spending millions to try and deal with the homeless population it has. The city just opened a $4 million Navigation Center for the homeless on the Embarcadero just a few blocks away.

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