Virtual listening sessions in English and Spanish as well as online survey help inform changes in TriMet’s safety efforts
As part of TriMet’s efforts to reimagine public safety and security on our transit system, we are inviting the public to join us at a virtual listening session. The events, one in English and one in Spanish, will be held Monday, Sept. 21, 2020 and Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. They will begin with a brief presentation about our current security approach, which will be followed by an opportunity for people to ask questions and share thoughts. The feedback we receive from these listening sessions, as well as others happening in the community and our online survey, will help us make our transit system better—more safe, welcoming and equitable for all.
Reimagining public safety and security on transit virtual listening sessions
Our plan and process
TriMet reallocated $1.8 million in funding from traditional police services and other sources on July 1, 2020, to evaluate community-based public safety approaches. To help guide our security efforts going forward, we’ve been gathering feedback from riders, community groups, local leaders and the public. We’re also engaging our own employees, including frontline workers and security officers, as well as our Transit Equity Advisory Committee, the TriMet Safety & Security Committee and our Committee on Accessible Transportation.
To expand our engagement efforts, TriMet collaborated with the Coalition of Communities of Color and other community groups to gather comments from their members. We also contracted with DHM Research to develop an online survey to gather people’s thoughts and feelings about security on TriMet. The survey is anonymous and people’s email addresses will not be recorded.
Take the online survey through Sunday, Sept. 27.
We are also researching national best practices in equity and transit security, and enlisting a third-party analysis of the security challenges facing the region as well as the types of issues that riders experience on board our buses and trains.
By the end of September, TriMet expects to convene a Transit Safety Advisory Committee of regional thought leaders on community and equity as well as national transit security experts. The committee will use the feedback gathered, the research results and the analysis to develop recommendations. Those recommendations will help advise TriMet’s General Manager on opportunities for approaches to transit safety and security that incorporate equity.
Learn more about our efforts to reimagine safety and security online at trimet.org/publicsafety.
Equity steps TriMet has taken
TriMet has been actively working to make our transit system fair and equitable. Here are steps and actions we’ve taken over the past five years, in coordination with our Transit Equity Advisory Committee:
- Initiated two independent analyses (in 2016 and in 2018) of our fare citation process that found no systemic racial bias.
- Decriminalized fare enforcement by soliciting in 2017 a change in state law to allow TriMet to resolve fare evasion citations directly rather than citations automatically going to the court.
- Reduced the punitive impacts of fare evasion penalties in July 2018 with potential for reduced fines, community service or enrollment in TriMet’s Honored Citizen reduced fare program.
- Implemented a low income fare program in 2018 that has allowed more than 31,000 people to ride with Honored Citizen reduced fare, a 72% discount over TriMet’s base fare.
- Changed TriMet Code as of December 2018 to clarify that fare evasion only is not a crime and have discontinued routine fare checks by police.
- Increased unarmed security personnel beginning in 2017 in response to community concerns over militarized security presence.
- Worked with regional district attorneys in December 2016 to dramatically reduce the use of Interfering with Public Transportation (IPT) charges.
- Implemented additional training in spring 2019 for contract security staff and fare inspectors related to community safety practices, de-escalation and non-confrontational interactions.
For more on TriMet’s equity actions, visit trimet.org/equity.