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Wed, Jun

Safety Concerns Escalate on LA Metro System Amid String of Violent Incidents

LOS ANGELES

LA METRO - Officials are urging increased use of public transit, but the safety of riders remains a significant concern as violent incidents continue to occur. This week alone, three violent incidents were reported on the LA Metro system within a 24-hour period:

•    Monday: A stabbing during a fight on the Metro in Glendale.

•    A few hours later: A stabbing on the elevator to the C Line station in South LA.

•    Tuesday: A robbery and assault on the Metro Line 240, where a person was hit in the chest.

These events are part of a troubling trend. Last month, a woman was fatally stabbed while getting off the Metro in Studio City, marking the second attack by the same alleged perpetrator. Additionally, a Metro bus driver was stabbed while driving a bus full of passengers, and in March, a security officer was stabbed at a Metro station in Hollywood, resulting in the officer killing the attacker.

In response to these incidents, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) announced on Wednesday plans to deploy more uniformed public safety personnel across the system. Metro also provided a graphic illustrating the various safety personnel to be deployed.

Mayor Karen Bass, who previously stated that "the Metro is safe," acknowledged on Wednesday that she no longer feels the same way. She announced a forthcoming motion aimed at enhancing safety for Metro riders and operators, which will be presented at the next Metro Board of Directors meeting.

Recent incidents have heightened commuter anxiety and prompted calls for immediate action. Early Thursday, two individuals were taken into custody for climbing on top of a metro train in downtown Los Angeles, further exacerbating safety concerns.

The violence has led to Metro bus drivers staging a "sick out" and a Metro board member expressing fear of riding the system alone. The Metro board has approved the installation of barriers between drivers and passengers on all Metro buses as a safety measure.

LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger is collaborating with various law enforcement agencies to develop a plan for increased enforcement on the Metro system. As violent incidents continue, both public officials and passengers are demanding more aggressive measures to ensure safety on public transit. 

(Jim Fredericks is a regular contributor to CityWatchLA.com.)

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