Here is the latest study about harassment on the Los Angeles, California, transit system (via the LA Times):
“Recent survey data from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority suggests nearly one in five riders — 19% — has experienced some form of harassment this year. Seven percent have been fondled or groped, and 8% have been subject to indecent exposure.
The data, from nearly 20,000 surveys handed out on Metro buses and trains, raises question about actual and perceived safety on Los Angeles County’s ever-expanding rail network. And, experts say, it could be a stumbling block for Metro as the agency works to coax Angelenos out of their cars and onto public transit.
The numbers are also troubling for the 78% of Metro riders who have no access to a car.
Although six in 10 Metro passengers are Latino, black passengers reported the highest rates of indecent exposure, physical contact and harassment overall. Riders younger than 34 reported the highest rates of harassment of all kinds. Passengers younger than 18 reported the highest rate of unwanted touching of any age group.”
I am so glad they are collecting this information and are recognizing this as a problem that could keep people from wanting to ride the system. I think it’s also important that it shows young people and black passengers face the most harassment. Knowledge is the first step toward solutions.
And here are some of their strategies, which are all very positive steps forward:
“[A] public awareness campaign called “It’s Off Limits,” which urges passengers to report harassment by calling (888) 950-7233…
Metro has a smartphone app, Transit Watch, that helps people call sheriff’s deputies, confidentially report harassment and snap photos of an incident. But only 6 in 10 Metro riders own a smartphone….
In the last three months, Metro has begun training its 11,000 employees to handle reports of sexual assault or harassment. Someone who has just been through that experience will probably talk to the first uniformed person they see, Gonzales said, even if it’s a janitor or a ticket-taker.”Share on Facebook