Motion requires Executive to ensure safety of riders, drivers
StoryThe Metropolitan King County Council has given its unanimous support for the development of an action plan to increase security for both passengers and operators of Metro Transit buses.
“I applaud Metro’s tremendous safety record over the years,” said Council Vice Chair Rod Dembowski, the sponsor of the motion. “I called for this legislation as recent assaults on Metro buses have made it clear to me that more can be done to ensure the safety of our drivers and passengers. I believe a review of safety and security measures on our buses will provide Metro an opportunity to use all the tools available to make Metro the safest transit agency in the nation.”
Two separate incidents occurred on Metro Transit vehicles just last month, as a driver was assaulted and a passenger was shot. These incidents, combined with the long term interest in the safety and security of transit passengers and operators, prompted the Executive and Council to review various safety measures, processes and protocols used by Metro Transit security and Metro Transit Police.
• The motion calls on the Executive to develop and transmit to Council an action plan that supports strategies outlined in the Metro system security plan and identifies and prioritizes specific activities to enhance the safety and security of Metro Transit's customers and employees, including: With the proposal by the County Executive to install cameras on all Metro Transit buses, an analysis of the reliability and potential expansion of video cameras on transit coaches;
• A review of current staffing levels for Metro Transit Police and contract personnel used to provide security in the transit tunnels and at metro stations
• Investigation of fare enforcement policies and the relationship to operator and passenger security;
• An analysis of how transit safety programs can be implemented so as to avoid disparate impacts on disadvantaged communities.
The action plan must be submitted to the Council by July 15th.