MAD DADS and Ambassadors engage with youth on the buses and light-rail trains in an effort to reduce behavior on transit property that can lead to juvenile arrests. MinnPost photo by Peter CallaghanGov. Transit ridership dropped precipitously when the pandemic hit, but before then, crime continued to rise on Twin Cities trains and buses. Thank you to Citizens for Modern Transit, St. Clair County Transit District, St. Louis County Police Department and our Metro Transit Ambassadors for greeting riders and handing out masks today! Tabke worked with Rep. Jon Koznick, R-Lakeville, on an early proposal that called for the creation of transit ambassadors (or agents, as some call them) and also would have changed fare evasion to an administrative citation with an initial fine of $35, compared with $180 now. The most familiar example of the concept is the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District’s brightly-clad ambassadors, a program that was introduced in 2009. Less serious crimes, such as fraud and vandalism, increased 105% in January and 88% in February. Unlike what Metro Transit might be planning, however, they have no enforcement authority. The study was produced after the COVID-19 crisis had closed large sections of the economy and significantly reduced transit service and ridership but before the homicide of George Floyd, which widely affected public and political attitudes toward policing. CUTA's Transit Ambassador program will help your transit system create or expand on a culture of customer service by empowering your employees with skills to better handle the many situations that arise when interacting with a customer. Starting on February 29, Metro employee ambassadors be stationed at various Metro transit centers to help prepare passengers for the March 14 service change. Non-sworn staff act as force multipliers, deterring and reducing crime by “projecting authority” and by putting more eyes and ears on vehicles and platforms, they found. But the Metro Transit safety measures pitched at the Legislature, a microcosm of the broader discussion, languished once the COVID-19 pandemic hit and Floyd’s death prompted civil unrest across the country. To keep up that effort and launch a new force of transit ambassadors, Metro Transit will need a so-far-undetermined budget boost from the Legislature. “We learned that it was not a feel-good (response), that it had genuine safety benefits for all kinds of good reasons,” Schroeer said. ... Metro Transit … Does using staff who aren’t law enforcement officers — sometimes called transit ambassadors — reduce evasion and behaviors such as smoking and rowdiness on transit? The East Metro Strong report authors said they didn’t know what they were going to find when they contacted other cities. If you believe mobility is an important part of the Indianapolis community, here’s your chance to help IndyGo spread the word and gather feedback about transit services and … Such personnel is also usually cheaper to hire and train than police officers. IndyGo is looking for energetic and enthusiastic volunteers to join our Transit Ambassador team. Lawmakers are expected to … “If we had a magic wand and could hire all the police in the world, we wouldn’t do it because it’s not what we want downtown Minneapolis to feel like.”. Senior Ambassadors are currently available to offer one-on-one training to any new rider who is a senior. Tim Walz continued to advocate for the Met Council, which oversees Metro Transit, to use new funds for transit agents, security cameras and policing. Sound Transit will change its fare enforcement on light-rail and Sounder commuter trains. Steve CramerPolice officers, however, are a radio call away if civilian ambassadors get into a situation they can’t safely handle. That includes examining ways to scale back policing in favor of social workers and mental health professionals, as well as unarmed "transit ambassadors," … “People have been extraordinarily cooperative with Metro Transit’s request to not ride if you’re not essential. 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Relph remembered for work on mental health issues, In 2020, facades and monuments keep falling, Unsettling narratives: Advancing genocide education in Minnesota, State plans to suspend liquor licenses of three more restaurants for defying COVID rules. But they were struck by the consistency of the responses they received from transit agency staffers they spoke with, which often boiled down to: Adding non-sworn or non-police staff lets police focus on policing. All Sound Transit employees will be serving as ambassadors during Connect 2020, which starts Jan. 4. Authorities say one man was shot and killed Thursday afternoon after a confrontation at a light rail station in Minneapolis. Moore has been with the Star Tribune for 21 years, previously covering business news, including the retail, medical device and commercial real estate industries. “Beginning with the 2019 legislative session, we advocated for the ability to shift away from having only sworn officers checking fares and to create an administrative citation, both the change who is enforcing fares and to reduce both the cost and impact by removing the criminal penalty,” Zelle wrote. Their report, completed in April, offers two recommendations for the Twin Cities that don’t replace police but supplement them. Tim Walz continued to advocate for the Met Council, which oversees Metro Transit, to use new funds for transit agents, security cameras and policing. Crime on light rail, buses was increasing before ridership dropped during pandemic. Why doesn't Minnesota charge a sales tax on clothing? Do people who oversee transit security in other cities think they’re a good idea? Dorothy Schulz, a retired captain of the Metro-North Commuter Railroad Police Department in New York, said she’s “not a great believer” in the concept of unarmed transit ambassadors. Tim Walz included the measures in his supplemental budget, along with $3.7 million in funding. Our reporters are only able to do their work thanks to support at all levels. Yet Schroeer said he didn’t think the conclusions would be that different had it been written after Floyd’s death. Peter Callaghan covers state government for MinnPost. Do people who oversee transit security in other cities think they’re a good idea? Metro Transit currently issues a warning the first time a rider is not able to show proof of payment. Months before George Floyd’s death, debate stewed at the Capitol over new ways to deter rising crime on the region’s trains and buses — and it didn’t involve the police. Steve Cramer, the president and CEO of Minneapolis Downtown Council, which runs the Downtown Improvement District, said the association is pleased with the campaign and has renewed its contract with the company that hires, trains and manages the ambassadors. “We recommend implementing the lessons they learned: 1. As part of the trip, the senior ambassadors would also give a presentation about the agency and program. Following Floyd’s death, Tabke says he isn’t comfortable with the punitive parts of the initial proposal, particularly the clause that bans previous offenders from using public transit. “We recommend implementing the lessons they learned: 1. The most familiar example of the concept is the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District’s brightly-clad ambassadors, a program that was introduced in 2009. Tim WalzAfter the homicide of George Floyd, House DFL sponsors dropped their support for any law enforcement response, though Gov. 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