T&I Committee Republicans Highlight Concerns Over Spike in Violent Crime on Nation’s Major Transit Systems

Washington, D.C., May 9, 2024 | Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446
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Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) and Highways and Transit Subcommittee Chairman Rick Crawford (R-AR) are leading Committee Republicans in seeking more information from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) about how the agency is responding to and mitigating an “unacceptable safety threat” to passengers at many of the nation’s major transit systems.

The following T&I Republican Members joined Chairmen Graves and Crawford in sending the letter: Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX), Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR), Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN), Rep. Troy E. Nehls (R-TX), Rep. Rudy Yakym III (R-IN), Rep. Thomas H. Kean, Jr. (R-NJ), Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY), Rep. Brandon Williams (R-NY), Rep. Marcus J. Molinaro (R-NY), Rep. Mike Collins (R-GA), Rep. Mike Ezell (R-MS), Rep. Aaron Bean (R-FL).

The Committee Members wrote to FTA Acting Administrator Veronica Vanterpool to highlight their concerns about the recent spike in reports of violent crime and assaults on transit systems in cities across the country.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, from 2020 to 2022, reports of homicides on U.S. urban transit systems increased by 61 percent, assaults increased by 70 percent, and other crimes, including burglary, increased by 34 percent.

“At a time when criminal activity on transit systems and in transit facilities is rising, it is vital that FTA provide appropriate safety and security measures and direction to counter this dangerous trend.  Accordingly, we seek information about FTA’s actions taken in response to this rise in crime on transit systems and plans to ensure the safety of transit riders and workers,” the Members wrote in their letter, in which they noted many recent and troubling violent criminal incidents.

“While millions of Americans ride transit systems daily without incident, the brazenness of these attacks and other incidents, and their geographic diversity, has justifiably diminished public trust in transit safety Nationwide and resulted in unprecedented policy changes in some communities….  We strongly encourage FTA to consider all available necessary and applicable actions that may be taken to aid local transit agencies in improving safety and security practices and mitigation operations.”

The Members requested more information about FTA’s data collection and assessment tools for measuring violent crime, which transit agencies have received funding and what progress they’ve made under the Biden Administration’s Enhanced Transit Safety and Crime Prevention Initiative, and whether FTA is pursuing any programmatic changes, document development, new recommendations or guidance reassessments to respond to the recent spike in reports of criminal activity on transit vehicles and in transit facilities.

Click here to read the full letter.

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