Safety for All: How to Reimagine Public Safety Policies in Transit
In July, TransitCenter released the Safety for All report. The report summarizes research on the safety concerns faced by transit riders and operators, and the spectrum of approaches transit agencies can take to address them.
For decades, civic leaders and community groups have called attention to the ways that police profile and brutally harm Black and brown people and constrain their movement in public space. In 2020, the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor brought additional scrutiny to policing tactics, bringing more energy to calls to shrink or eliminate the police, improve accountability, and expand community safety. This has been a turning point at some transit agencies, lending new urgency to longstanding calls to examine the harm caused by police on transit and the safety issues that are not effectively addressed by the current approach.
In order to create public transit systems that are safer for all riders, agencies will have to approach the issue with fresh eyes and acknowledge that the status quo is failing riders and the greater public. As agencies pursue transit safety reforms, they are looking to each other for concrete examples on which to base their new programs. Agencies will also need to form partnerships with city agencies and non-profit organizations to implement programs that reduce homelessness, address mental health, and increase affordability in order to tackle the root causes of unsafe conditions on transit.
Join TransitCenter for a conversation on a spectrum of approaches that transit agencies can take to address safety concerns.
Haleema Bharoocha, Senior Advocacy Manager, Alliance for Girls
John Gardner, Director Transit Equity, Inclusion & Community Affairs, TriMet
S. Mary Scullion, President and Executive Director, Project HOME
Chris Van Eyken, Senior Program Associate, TransitCenter