In response to an increasing number of rider complaints about the illegal use of drugs on our rail system, in February we launched a 30-day pilot of a new approach to reduce illegal drug use on Metro. Using a comprehensive, layered approach, the Drug-Free Metro Campaign seeks to reduce drug-related crime, increase awareness of the risks of drug use and provide support to those struggling with addiction resulting in a safer transit experience for our customers and employees.
The campaign was rolled out on the Metro B (Red), A (Blue) and L (Gold) Lines on February 13, and included a strategic deployment of Metro Ambassadors, outreach workers, Metro Transit Security, Contract Security, LAPD and the LA Sheriff’s Department. Metro Transit Security was reassigned to rail riding teams, and our Customer Experience department started an anti-drug communications campaign. We also offered a drug diversion program through the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office to those who qualify.
Initial results of the campaign to date include:
- From Feb 13 – March 11, we saw an overall 10 percent decrease in customer reported drug-related complaints on the system, as measured by calls into our Customer Service Line, 323.GO.METRO.
- By week 4 of the campaign, Transit Watch App reports related to Smoking/Alcohol/Drugs were down 78 percent compared to Week 1. Week 1 had a total of 701 reports but by Week 4 the total was 154.
- Overall, 68 Metro Code of Conduct citations and 36 warnings were issued by Metro Transit Security. Our partners at LAPD and the LA Sheriff’s Department also made 205 drug related arrests.
We’re encouraged by the initial results of this initiative in its first 30 days. Last week, the Metro Board voted to extend the program for another 90 days. Staff will report back to the Board at our June Board meeting on this and other efforts to address illegal drug use on the Metro system.
To be clear: Possessing and/or using an illegal drug or substance, smoking of any kind and drinking or possessing alcohol of any kind has been and continues to be strictly prohibited on Metro.
We appreciate your help –– it makes a difference. If you see illegal activity, please take the time to report it. The best way to report:
- Call 888.950.SAFE (7233).
- Report with the Transit Watch app, which allows you to send text messages and photos directly to our security team, 24 hours a day. The Transit Watch app is available for free; (you can download Transit Watch here)
- Use the intercom to tell the train operator or tell a Transit Security Officer.
Thank you for riding Metro. Please continue to let us know about your experiences on the system – good, bad, and in between. We’ll keep doing everything we can to ensure that our public transportation system is clean, safe and comfortable.