As you would expect, as Diversity increases, so too does crime. This holds true in public transit as much as anywhere else. A recent Trimet report tells us that, overall, public transit crime has gone down:
TriMet and Transit Police credit a drop in reported crimes against customers to a more targeted deployment of officers and resources, as well as riders doing their part by keeping a closer eye on their belongings. But an increase in crimes against employees is troubling and putting a stop to it requires the combined effort of TriMet, Transit Police, our employees and our riders.
Customers report far fewer crimes on the system in 2015
In 2015, crimes reported by our riders on board or at stations and stops dropped more than 40 percent. Reported crimes involving customers’ vehicles at park and rides decreased as well, 26 percent.
With just about one reported crime a day, or one incident in about 387,000 trips, crime on the system remains low, especially when you consider the 100.3 million rides provided last year.
In somewhat related news, the Oregonian (regrettably not a recent article) bemoans the loss of Diversity in the Portland area:
Of 354 census tracts in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties, 40 became whiter from 2000 to 2010, according to The Oregonian’s analysis of the 2010 Census. Of those, two lie in rural Clackamas County. The 38 others are in Portland.
The city core didn’t become whiter simply because lots of white residents moved in, the data show. Nearly 10,000 people of color, mostly African Americans, also moved out.
And those who left didn’t move to nicer areas. Pushed out by gentrification, most settled on the city’s eastern edges, according to the census data, where the sidewalks, grocery stores and parks grow sparse, and access to public transit is limited.
As a result, the part of Portland famous for its livability — for charming shops and easy transit, walkable streets and abundant bike paths — increasingly belongs to affluent whites.
The change raises unsettling questions for a city that prides itself on tolerance, social equity and valuing diversity. What did Portland, a city known for planning, do as people of color were forced to the city’s fringes and beyond? What role did city leaders play in the dispersal? And as the city maps its future, what steps will it take to protect the diversity that remains?
“The exodus from the central city causes me great concern; it is alarming,” Portland Mayor Sam Adams said. “Whether you are a Portlander of color or a white Portlander, you should care about the fact that we offer such limited access to equal opportunities.”
The article includes a series of maps showing how the white proportion of Portland has grown in some areas:
I took the liberty of labeling 82nd Avenue, for the benefit of non-Portlanders.
Going back to the Trimet article, it goes on:
Reported crime by lines
Looking at reported crimes by line, the only sections of MAX lines to see increases in 2015 were on the Blue and Red lines in Beaverton, up four crimes, and on the Red Line between Gateway Transit Center and Portland International Airport, with one additional crime reported last year. The Orange Line, which began operations September 12, 2015, experienced three reported crimes. No crimes were reported on WES Commuter Rail last year.
Only four bus lines experienced more than 10 reported crimes in 2015:
Line 72-Killingsworth/82nd Ave: 18
Line 4-Division/Fessenden: 15
Line 12-Barbur/Sandy Blvd: 13
Line 57-TV Hwy/Forest Grove: 12
If you refer to the map above, you’ll see that Killingsworth/82nd Ave. is the orange area to the right of the map. Division/Fessenden is at the top left orange area of the map. Barbur/Sandy goes through downtown and includes various areas; it’s hard to draw any conclusions from that. TV Hwy/Forest Grove goes through Hillsboro, which is heavily Hispanic.
To highlight this pattern, here’s another post from Trimet’s website:
TriMet needs the public’s help in tracking down a person who assaulted a bus operator on Mon., April 4, 2016. We’re offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible.
The assault occurred on a Line 71 bus at SE 122nd and Powell on Monday, April 4 shortly before 6 a.m. The operator was struck in the face over a fare dispute. The operator was transported to a local hospital but fortunately the operator was not seriously hurt. Transit Police is investigating. They are looking for several persons of interest in the case. TriMet has coordinated with Transit Police and Portland Police for the release of photos taken from TriMet video of those persons of interest.
Anybody who rides the MAX (Trimet’s trains) knows how much Trimet “values Diversity.” It’s posted in every car in several languages. Given the fact that Trimet drivers are more safe with a white ridership (though there are plenty of sketchy white passengers too), you would think that it would value its white employees.
Trimet has around 2,500 employees, and I saw this while riding the MAX today:
Their website describes how these “operators of the year” are selected, and I have no doubt that they’re deserving of this honor. However, I can’t help but wonder how many, of the hundreds of other operators, were not selected because they’re white males.