LA Metro Board approves additional safety measures to enhance rider safety

Posted: 29 March 2023 | | No comments yet

LA Metro is implementing its public safety plan by hiring new Transit Security Officers, exploring the creation of a public safety department and adopting new policies, including new Bias-Free Policing and Public Safety Data Analytics policies.

LA Metro Board approves additional safety measures to enhance rider safety

Credit: LA Metro

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) has announced that its Board of Directors has approved the hiring of 48 new Transit Security Officers to keep bus operators and riders safe. The Board has also authorised the agency to re-negotiate and potentially extend  its contracts with its law enforcement partners, for up to three years, to ensure more visual presence on the system, while it evaluates the feasibility of creating its own in-house public safety department.

The Board’s actions advance the implementation of the agency’s public safety plan, which calls for a layered, human-centred approach that makes the system be – and feel – more safe. In addition to the new personnel, LA Metro is working with the city and county to add homeless outreach, drug addiction and crisis intervention teams, and is improving its use of security cameras and lighting, as well as more frequent cleaning of stations and vehicles.

Furthermore, the Board has also approved a new Bias-Free Policing and Public Analytics policies, including a revised Customer Code of Conduct to ensure consistency with the public safety mission and values that had been adopted by the Board in 2021. The mission and values statements specify that all transit riders are entitled to a safe, dignified and human experience on LA Metro.

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“The Metro system is certainly not immune from the broader societal challenges we see throughout our county, but we are steadfast in our commitment to taking all steps necessary to promote a safe and pleasant transit experience for every one of our riders,” said Glendale City Council Member and Metro Board Chair Ara J. Najarian. “Safety is our number one priority.”

“It is important that we’re finally going to have a team of transit security officers who are dedicated to our buses and are actually riding them alongside our passengers,” said Janice Hahn, L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Second Vice Chair. “Most of Metro’s consistent transit riders take the bus and they deserve a safe and comfortable ride.”

“All of these initiatives build upon work we have been doing over the last year to put our public safety plan into action,” said LA Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “This plan utilises proactive response, strategic enforcement and equitable rule compliance, and is key to maintaining public safety for our customers. We know we have a lot of work to do, but we are clearly making progress in the right direction.”