Some stories you may have missed last week: Sacramento enhances station security, NYC councilor wants NYPD to release stats on fare evasion enforcement, and MTA launches digital library.
The Sacramento Regional Transit District (CA) is installing a public-address system at its transit stations to allow security personnel — who already monitor stations remotely at a command center — to communicate directly with people at the stations. RT is still working out the details, but transit police expect the PA system to help officials evacuate a station during an emergency or let people know police are on the way if a crime is in progress. “We don’t know know all the possibilities of its use, but we are going to test it out and we think it will be an added benefit for our ridership,” said police captain Norm Leong. Link to full story in The Sacramento Bee.
A New York City lawmaker wants the New York Police Department to publish quarterly statistics and demographic information about individuals who are arrested or receive citations for fare evasion on Metropolitan Transportation Authority services. “The data that we believe will be produced as a result of this legislation will show how unfair the city’s prosecution of fare evasion is and the disproportionate impact it has on communities of color,” said Queens city councilman Rory Lancman about the legislation he is drafting to require the police to publish the statistics. Reviews of arrest data suggest that a disproportionate proportion of people arrested for fare evasion in the first six weeks of 2017 were African-American or Latino according to community organizations. “We look forward to reviewing the bill to determine if we are able to capture and provide this data in the way the bill envisions,” NYPD responded in a statement. Link to full story in AM New York.
The MTA has teamed up with Transit Wireless and three New York library systems to launch Subway Library, a six-week program to provide customers with access to hundreds of free e-books, e-shorts, and extensive excerpts from full-length books. Subway Library marks the installation of free wireless connectivity in all underground subway stations. “Reading has always been a central part of the New York commute, and putting a virtual library on every subway car brings our customers an unparalleled opportunity to explore a wide range of authors while they are in the system,” said MTA interim executive director Ronnie Hakim in a statement. “Finally, it’s a cool way to give customers who are on their way out to Coney Island or the Rockaways a real jump on picking out their summer beach reading. What could be better than that?” The MTA is not the first transit agency to create an online library. The Chicago Transit Authority (IL) introduced a similar program in 2016 and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority launched a digital library in 2013.
Photo credit: Susan Mara Bregman