Muni launches effort to promote safety after nearly 190 reported incidents this year

The incidents include at least 63 larcenies, 29 robberies and 17 assaults

ByZach Fuentes and Lindsey Feingold KGO logo
Thursday, June 22, 2023
Muni launches effort to promote safety after 188 incidents this year
Muni hit the streets of San Francisco for its first-ever "Safe Out" to promote its safety program that is available in different languages.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Workers for San Francisco's leading transit agency hit the streets Wednesday for its first-ever "Safe Out" day spreading information and word at its most-traveled transit that they're taking riders' concerns seriously.

SFPD data cited by Muni shows that though there was a much larger number of incidents reported before the pandemic, the numbers have been going up since 2020.

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Through April of this year, there have been at least 188 incidents.

That includes at least 63 larcenies, 29 robberies and 17 assaults.

MORE: 1 injured in shooting near Muni station in San Francisco, police say

Police are investigating a shooting near a Muni station in San Francisco.

Muni says it's aware that incidents are happening on its vehicles and are working to step up safety.

They launched a safety equity initiative late last year focusing on gender based and sexual harassment on public transportation.

"What we're trying to do is make sure that everybody understands that we have different staff members out throughout the system, that they can reach out to that they're safe, and get the information out about gender-based harassment," said Kimberly Burrus, SFMTA's Chief Security Officer.

MORE: 1 man shot while aboard San Francisco Muni bus, police say

San Francisco police responded to a shooting that occurred on a Muni bus just before 6 p.m. Sunday at Mission and 13th Streets.

A team with SFMTA who oversees Muni attached posters to different bus stops and shared other handouts, each letting people know in multiple languages how to report incidents.

The feedback to the posters has been mixed.

"I don't think the people doing the violence are going to take time to read this sign so the people that are getting hurt are the ones reading the sign," said Rebecca, a Muni passenger, "Either it's going to make them feel better, or they're going to still be afraid."

MORE: New data looks into Muni fare inspectors, citations following report some passengers don't pay

Muni maintaining that they hope the information will be helpful.

"We want to make sure that all of our customers know and can identify all the staff that are out on the system and available to support them and help them," Burrus said.

Though improving safety was the focus Wednesday, Muni has plenty of other concerns looming that they're working to address, including fare evasion.

"A third of our revenue comes from our fares," Burrus said, "So it is important that people pay their fares."

As we've previously reported, SFMTA data shows that this year Muni has 23 active fare inspectors. Thirteen are on a leave of absence and there are nine remaining positions to fill.

MORE: Are Muni customers paying their fares? Here's a detailed look at SFMTA's deep financial crisis

Are San Francisco Muni customers paying their fares? Here's a detailed look at SFMTA's deep financial crisis.

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The numbers still show that citations issued through May of this fiscal year have gone up.

"If you are found in non-compliance," Burrus said, "You will be issued a citation."

Muni saying it also understands that different social issues may impact someone's ability to pay fares or citations, but they're willing to work with people through a variety of programs.

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