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Keeping Muni Riders Safe

Thursday, August 4, 2022

After several years without a major violent incident on Muni, we’ve recently experienced two tragic shootings. On June 22, two passengers got into an altercation, and one of the passengers fatally shot another passenger and injured a bystander. The shooter was quickly apprehended by the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) thanks to our collaboration and use of clear, state-of-the-art surveillance cameras on board our vehicles. On August 3, there was a targeted shooting on a Muni vehicle driving through the Sunnydale neighborhood; one passenger was killed, and a bystander sustained a minor injury. SFPD’s Homicide Detail is investigating the incident, and we are fully cooperating by providing the SFPD with onboard and street-facing video data. 

We offer our deepest sympathies to the victims and their families who are suffering right now.  

While these recent incidents appear to be an anomaly and instances of isolated, targeted confrontations, we are working resolutely to make sure all Muni riders are safe and can be confident riding our buses and trains. We were already increasing security and safety across our system and are taking additional steps in response to the recent incidents. 

  • Increased staff presence on our vehicles:
    Having uniformed personnel present on Muni vehicles is a visual deterrent against crime and other problematic behavior. 
    • Our Muni Transit Ambassadors are San Francisco community members with deep ties to their neighborhoods. Many of them grew up riding Muni. They ride specific Muni routes to assist customers, defuse and deter any conflicts, prevent acts of vandalism and assist bus operators. We currently have 21 Muni Transit Ambassadors in the field and are hiring an additional 20 ambassadors. 
    • Our Transit Fare Inspectors also ride Muni routes, and they do more than make sure our riders comply with our fare policies. They also provide riders with service information and information about fare programs and kiosk locations.  
    • We’ve been informed by the SFPD that they will be providing an increased presence on Muni in the coming weeks. 
    • At Muni stations, station agents are monitoring video footage from cameras that are set up throughout the station and will take action if there’s an emergency, either by going to the scene or by contacting emergency personnel. Any time you’re concerned about a safety issue or have a question, you can walk up to the booth and talk with the station agent.
  • Extensive and effective video surveillance program: 
    • We’ve installed high-quality video cameras throughout our system to be able to document crimes and provide the documentation to the police. In multiple instances, this video footage enabled the police to identify and arrest people who perpetrated crimes.  
    • Each bus is equipped with at least 11 cameras that are recording any time the bus is running. The footage is monitored by staff in our video surveillance unit. 
    • We are constantly upgrading and improving our video system. Currently we are hiring more team members to support this work.
  • New Equity Safety Initiative: 
    • All forms of gender-based and race-based harassment, assault and sexual violence are strictly prohibited throughout the SFMTA system including on vehicles and at stops and facilities. Threatening, harming or harassing passengers or SFMTA employees is illegal and will not be tolerated.  
    • We recently implemented an initiative to prevent this type of harassment and violence on Muni. Later in August, announcements will be posted throughout the Muni system making it clear that this behavior is not tolerated. Riders can now report gender-based harassment and violence using the Muni Feedback form (SFMTA.com/MuniFeedback) or by calling 3-1-1. Non-English speakers should call 3-1-1 for language-assisted reporting.   
    • We will be tracking this data to determine where more resources should be directed to make sure none of our riders ever have to tolerate gender-based harassment or violence. Learn more about our Safety Equity Initiative (SFMTA.com/SafetyEquity) 

The safety of our customers and staff is a top priority for the SFMTA. We will continue our efforts to make sure Muni is a safe and welcoming environment and update you with our progress. In the meantime, if you need to report an incident you see happening on Muni, please follow these steps. 

  • What to do in the event of a crime on Muni 
    • First and foremost, stay safe: Try to remain calm and exit the vehicle if necessary and safe to do so. Never put yourself in danger. 
    • Alert authorities and your Muni operator: Call 911 to report the crime as soon as it's safe to do so. Alert the Muni operator if the operator doesn't seem to be aware so they can take steps to keep everyone safe. You can also alert any other SFMTA staff member you see (they’ll be wearing a Muni vest). 
    • Remember and report helpful details: When reporting an incident, accurate details can make all the difference in enabling police and Muni staff to respond effectively. When a crime occurs, note details like the time, location and Muni vehicle number. If safe, also note a physical description of any suspects.