The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees the Municipal Railway (Muni), announced overall crime on Muni has fallen by 30% and cell phone thefts have decreased by 77% since May 2013.
The reduction of crime onboard Muni follows the partnership announced by Mayor Edwin M. Lee, the SFMTA and the SFPD in November of last year to deploy more officers on the system to increase overall security. Uniformed patrols riding Muni provide a visual deterrence for both terrorism and criminal activity.
Mobile devices have been the target in the vast majority of robbery cases, which is why the city also launched the “Eyes Up, Phones Down” anti-crime and public awareness campaign in August of last year.
As part of the “Eyes Up, Phones Down” campaign, Transit Fare Inspectors handed out anti-crime tip cards with cell phone screen cleaners to customers. The second wave of the campaign launched last month. Transit riders are reminded to be aware of their surroundings at Muni stations, stops and on vehicles.
“This inter-agency partnership has not only made it safer to ride Muni but is essential to deterring criminal activity in San Francisco,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin. “While enforcement is a vital component to public safety, Muni passengers also play a large part in preventing opportunities for crime, so we continue to remind people to keep their eyes up and their phones down.”
While thefts are down, thieves continue to target mobile devices. Crimes on Muni are often crimes of opportunity and customers can help deter theft by staying alert and aware of their surroundings. The additional support is funded through a Transportation Security Administration Homeland Security Grant and is expected to continue until the end of the year.