It may not be a scene out of Willard or an ordinary day at India’s Karni Mata Temple, but the rats are bold and plentiful at the Old Town Transit Center. Built in the early 1990s, the center is the hub for people catching buses, trolleys, trains, and cabs. It has also become a rodent playground.
The railing on Congress Street that is covered with shrubbery and has a garbage can chained to it is the main stage for the vermin variety show. There you can see how acrobatic the rats can be. They hurdle over the railing’s pointed spikes with grace. Their ability to stop instantaneously and start full speed from being idle is also jaw-dropping. Every so often they will make a leap to the ground and scurry away.
“Look at that tail,” says taxi driver Darlene D., looking at a rat with its head in the trash can, its eight-inch-long tail sticking out over the rim. “It’s disgusting. I’ve known people who jumped back in terror after two or three rats jumped out when they used [the trash can] to discard an empty beverage can.”
San Diego Metropolitan Transit System representative Larry Ayres claimed it was the first he’d heard of the problem and that he would inform the proper people so they could look into it.