Innovation That Matters

Urination detectors enable quick arrests for public peeing


The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority is hoping to clean up its elevators with urine sensors that alert nearby police officers.


Become a member today and get early access to the ideas transforming our world from just £39 per month*

Exclusive member benefits:

  • Access to over 13,000 innovations
  • Monthly horizon scanning reports
  • Exclusive feature articles

Already a member? Sign in here

Public urination is a major problem for cities and, somehow, civic facilities seem to bear the brunt of the antisocial behavior. Hoping to curb public peeing, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority is planning to clean up its elevators with urine sensors that alert nearby police officers.

The local government body is trialling the new technology — which triggers an alert when hidden sensors detect the splash of urine — in one of the city’s Midtown stations, according to WSB-TV. A sign placed in the elevators warns passengers that the system is in operation. If they proceed to relieve themselves anyway, security guards are immediately notified and can move to catch the culprit before they’ve finished. If they manage to escape, a camera enables police to identify the offender. In the month following the beginning of the pilot program, unlawful peeing incidents dropped to zero except for one case in which an arrest was successfully made.

MARTA hopes to install the system in each of its stations’ 111 elevators starting from this month, as well as reopening restrooms for public use to further encourage hygienic behavior. However, with each detection device costing around USD 10,000 to install, are there more economical ways to deter public urination?

Spotted by Murtaza Patel, written by Springwise



Download PDF

Springwise Services:
Our expertise in spotting the latest innovations is the best resource to empower your team’s future planning.

Find out More