Sound Transit boosting security for Seattle light rail passengers

Sep 18, 2019, 1:25 PM

light rail, sound transit, STart...

(Sound Transit)

(Sound Transit)

While Seattle’s light rail hasn’t been the sight of much criminal activity over the years, Sound Transit has nonetheless long sought to boost security, well before the recent shooting.

Changes being implemented for the 80,000 daily light rail passengers include boosting the security budget 37 percent to $34.4 million, with more police and security guards, as well as upgrades to the tunnel’s radio network and video surveillance, reports The Seattle Times.

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“Couldn’t they save a lot of money by just putting up a sign saying ‘This is a gun free zone’? I thought that works,” joked KIRO Radio’s John Curley.

“But they’ve actually done a really good job when they designed these underground spots. There are very few places to hide. It’s very well lit. There’s a lot of security all over the place, a lot of cameras,” Curley added.

1 dead, 2 injured in shooting near Westlake Station; police search for suspect

Last week, a gunman shot three people that resulted in one death, and on Saturday a rider heading to the Husky game was stabbed. Despite these recent incidents, Seattle’s retains one of the safest transit systems in the country among large cities. There hasn’t been a homicide since 2016, with approximately 27 robberies since 2014, 19 aggravated assaults, and 110 “other assaults.”

“I think our record is a solid one, in terms of being able to stay on top of lawlessness on the system,” Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff told the Times. “There are certain agencies in the country who’ve learned the hard way, they’ve let it get away from them.”

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John Curley and Shari Elliker on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
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John Curley and Shari Elliker

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Sound Transit boosting security for Seattle light rail passengers