Why this is important
All riders and operators deserve to feel safe on transit. A safe and secure system is essential to help maintain a talented transit workforce. While the transit system wholly depends on economic and societal trends, there are many steps the Service Boards can take to improve safety, work with community partners, communicate about disruptions, and educate riders on safe practices while using transit.
The agencies will continue to partner with local police departments and social service agencies on efforts to provide security on transit. They will also work together to convene a regional public safety and security summit to share and explore solutions to the challenges facing transit, including advocating for further funding.
Lead development of a cross-sector safety summit that includes social service providers and identifies holistic solutions to safety, security, and cleanliness issues.
Expand security guard deployments to new and existing strategic overnight locations.
Strengthen and expand partnerships with local police departments.
Track and communicate progress through monthly board meeting updates.
Develop new ways to deter fare theft and prevent fare evasion.
Advance safety improvements to 13 Metra Electric stations over the next 5 years.
Conduct training to frontline staff for identifying individuals experiencing a mental health crisis.
Initiate a regional safety action plan to improve safety at high-incident Metra locations.
Install cameras at stations and in cars and locomotives.
Invest in cameras and improved security equipment for all vehicles and facilities.
Provide a list of proposed improvements with staff training.
Provide assistance to local partners to improve safety, mobility, and connectivity through Complete Streets program.
Input from stakeholder working groups
Stakeholder working groups pushed for methods that allow riders to communicate with operators and law enforcement when experiencing a safety or cleanliness issue, such as adding feedback capabilities or reporting options on the Ventra app. Working groups also suggest community, justice-centered approaches to violence reduction to address the increased rates of crime on transit.
What we as a region could do with more resources
With more funding, the RTA and Service Boards could increase staff at stations and vehicles to ensure the safety and security of our customers. Additional resources from the state to social service agencies could help with root causes that spill over into transit.
Second Transit is the Answer Coalition meeting explores making the system safer and more secure for everyone
August 11, 2023