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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Metro Transit Aims to Fight Crime and Litter With New Approach

Metro Transit is to start a little trial along the Green Line because it is worried about light-rail ridership figures that are still just half of what they were before the outbreak. Passengers will now board two-car trains instead of the three light-rail vehicles that typically draw up to station stops until at least mid-August.

What’s the distinction? Simply put: density. The idea is that having more people crammed in close proximity will discourage bad conduct and increase the likelihood that riders may run across a Metro Transit police officer or community service officer while riding. Additionally, it will make picking up rubbish at the end of the day simpler.

Theoretically, having fewer vehicles might even improve on-time performance, which has declined for the Green Line from an on-time performance of 75% last year to 81 percent for end-to-end arrival times in 2019.

People frequently hold the station doors open, according to Drew Kerr, a spokesperson for Metro Transit. Fewer doors mean there are fewer to hold open.

The idea is to entice people back to light rail by enhancing perceptions of safety, timeliness, and cleanliness. In June, the Metropolitan Council approved a new safety and security action plan that pledged to solicit suggestions for ridership enhancements from both employees and customers, according to Kerr. He said, “This is one of the concepts that came out via that process.

Since there will still be drivers, reducing the number of automobiles is unlikely to result in significant cost savings. In terms of actual crimes, Kerr indicated that year over year crime reports have decreased for the last two years and that this trend would continue until 2022. 100 full-time police, 54 part-time officers, and 13 community service officers are employed by Metro Transit, and they continue to board trains and buses.

However, when it comes to attracting paying consumers back into the fold, the perception of public safety is just as crucial as any facts.

Mid-August will be used by Metro Transit to assess if the two-car trains had a significant impact.

On social media, some passengers have already expressed worry about being seated closer together during a pandemic or having fewer alternatives if they need to move train cars as a result of an unruly fellow traveler.

With these two-car trains as opposed to three-car trains, Kerr stated, “I believe we feel very optimistic that we’ll be able to accommodate our present ridership and yet get folks to their destination pretty comfortably.”

Long-time transport users have expressed dissatisfaction with service cuts to anything from bus routes to train departures that used to run midnight. Even on weekends, the final eastbound Green Line train leaves downtown Minneapolis for the downtown St. Paul Union Depot at 11:30 p.m.

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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  1. Part of the problem is no secure gates for getting on and off. So many freeloaders/non-paying troublemakers are riding. We’ve ridden the subway all over London, DC, never felt unsafe. We used to ride but not anymore. Do not feel safe on the Green Line.


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