Metro Transit leaders speak to riders on safety initiatives

Colton Anderson rides the light rail train daily and says his early morning and early evening rides leave him feeling threatened and unsettled each time.

"I’ve seen fights, [and] almost every day you can see drugs on the train," Anderson said. He’s just one of many riders who feel there isn’t enough being done to keep riders safe.

According to Metro Transit Police Chief Ernest Morales III and Met Council Chair Charlie Zelle, the lawlessness picks up at night on the Green Line, especially at the Lake Street Station.

"It is definitely ground zero for our challenges, in terms of crime, in terms of drug dealing," Zelle said.

To deter crime, last month authorities upped their presence on trains and platforms. Community service officers are now out making sure people on the trains have paid to be on board, and giving violators a $35 citation.

"In the last like three weeks I’ve seen more [officers], which is great," Anderson said.

On Tuesday, Metro Transit’s leaders also caught the train, in a push to experience what riders are experiencing.

Chief Morales is waiting for final crime numbers from 2023, but at the last count, between January and September, he says numbers dropped by 33%. Meanwhile, the supplemental security has cost taxpayers about $3 million in the first year, and another $3 million is expected from the budget for a second-year extension.