TriMet awarded APTA 2013 Bus Safety & Security Excellence Award


“Be Seen. Be Safe” campaign recognized as one of top safety and security programs in North America

before-afterTriMet was awarded the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Certificate of Merit for Safety on Sunday, May 5, for the “Be Seen. Be Safe” safety outreach campaign. The campaign took an active approach to improving safety messages and communicating safety information to pedestrians and cyclists, especially around TriMet’s buses and trains.

APTA announced the winners of the 2013 Bus Safety and Security Excellence Awards at the opening sessions of the annual APTA Bus and Paratransit Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. The awards recognize public transportation organizations for their innovative and proactive safety and security programs dedicated to improving safety for their employees, passengers and the public.

“This is a huge honor and reflects TriMet’s core value of safety not just for our operators and our riders, but everyone in communities we serve.” said TriMet’s Safety and Security Executive, Harry Saporta.

More than 30 percent of incidents occurred in low-light hours
TriMet studied data from systemwide incidents involving pedestrians and cyclists. The analysis showed that 31 percent of incidents occurred during dusk or dark hours. TriMet initiated several measures, and worked with community partners and media to address the safety challenge.

Be Seen. Be Safe focused on outreach, education
Michael Smith, APTA’s safety and security senior specialist mentioned that TriMet’s award is one of the first in North America to be exclusively focused on outreach. Several other agencies have included outreach components but none as specific as TriMet’s campaign.

“The ‘Be Seen. Be Safe’ campaign brought together our employees, our partners, our riders and local media to educate people with simple steps we can all take to stay safe when walking and biking during nighttime and early morning hours” said Drew Blevins, TriMet’s director of marketing & customer information services. He added that about 17 community partners participated in the 2012 effort.

The 2012 “Be Seen. Be Safe” campaign featured street teams distributing reflective safety items during the first commute after daylight-saving-time went away last fall, a live television remote, news coverage, television ads, print ads, social media and a rider contest.

Metro, Drive Less Save More and KGW were sponsors of the 2012 campaign; helping establish “Be Seen. Be Safe” as one of the Portland metro area’s most visible safety outreach efforts.

APTA honorees were broken out into bus system size; systems with fewer than 4 million trips annually, systems between 4 million and 20 million trips annually and systems with 20 million or more trips annually. TriMet is in the 20 million or more trips category.