Safety Equity Initiative

To report harassment on Muni call 311 or fill out the Muni Feedback form. Your report helps the SFMTA reduce and prevent harassment. For emergency services call 911.

Project Introduction

All Muni users, SFMTA employees, San Franciscans and visitors to our world-class city deserve public transit that prioritizes safety and security. Safety and security are the first standard measure of Muni system reliability, system performance, staffing performance and customer service. The SFMTA is committed to prioritizing security for people using our transit system, particularly by combatting harassment and violence and empowering Muni customers and workers.

Current Phase or Stage
Phase 1: Listening, Research and Discovery

Focus on Harassment

Harassment is one of the most expansive and persistent forms of violence. It is especially pervasive on transit, most often impacting women, girls and gender-expansive people of all ages, abilities, races and ethnicities, cultural and language groups. Women of color are some of our most transit-reliant community members and are more likely to have survived gender-based harassment.

While incidents occur regularly in various forms on and around San Francisco’s transportation network, including when using Muni, they often go unreported. These incidents include inappropriate, unwanted contact, gestures or comments, staring, groping, indecent exposure, abuse and violence of a sexual or nonsexual nature. Some of these incidents may also be criminal acts. All are unacceptable, and we have a duty to work to end these behaviors.

Studies by LA Metro, New York University, San Jose State University and many others acknowledge that:

  • Transportation is the second most common place where sexual harassment occurs
  • Women have complex travel patterns and specific mobility needs
  • Reliable data is lacking making it difficult to respond to this persistent problem

We aim to build diverse, intersectional community partnerships to better understand Muni users’ experiences and develop solutions to address harassment when using Muni.

For ease of communication, we use “woman,” “girl,” and “gender-expansive people” interchangeably. These terms include trans women and girls, non-binary people, gender non-conforming people, gender queer people, cis girls and cis women, and any individual identifying as a woman or girl.

This effort also aims to involve and educate all community members, regardless of how they identify, to be allies and help prevent harassment and violence.

Program Goals 

The aim of the Safety Equity Initiative is to create a safer environment for all Muni riders and SFMTA staff, and support SFMTA’s mission of providing excellent transit and mobility service. We plan to accomplish this by:

  • Use ongoing research, studies, and data collection to understand existing and evolving needs
  • Work directly with SFMTA staff and members of the public to identify specific safety and security challenges and appropriate solutions
  • Provide inclusive, accessible, multilingual and culturally competent in-reach, community outreach and engagement
  • Educate and empower SFMTA staff and Muni riders

Program Outcomes

  • Improve mechanisms for reporting different forms of harassment
  • Establish ongoing data gathering systems and processes and build capacity to monitor, evaluate and support ongoing security interventions 
  • Identify factors that contribute to personal safety while using Muni
  • Engage with diverse community to help us build strategies to prevent harassment and improve safety
  • Develop community-centered resources and campaigns to build public awareness and help reduce harassment
  • Develop policies, capital investment priorities, and security strategies to address harassment

Commitment to the Community

The SFMTA acknowledges the historic lack of investment and systematic inequities in transit systems. We recognize the need to do better and seek to repair past harms by uplifting communities throughout the development, implementation and evolution of the Safety Equity Initiative and related efforts.

We aim to lead with Muni values:

  • Model respect: Value community members’ time and lived experiences that they choose to share with us, especially those not often heard in traditional decision-making venues
  • Uphold accountability: Establish measures of success and tell the public how we’re doing.
  • Normalize transparency: Listen to the community, document and share what we learn and how this informs our decision-making.
  • Instill trust: Deliver actions that reflect community priorities.
Contact Information