WMATA reports crime down 14 percent following security steps

Feb. 23, 2024
The authority has increased MTPD patrols in stations, began utilizing cameras throughout its system and works with a team of crisis intervention specialists to bolster safety throughout the transit system.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) reports combined safety and security efforts have resulted in a 14 percent decrease in crime while ridership is up on both Metrorail (24 percent year to date) and Metrobus (15 percent year to date). 

WMATA is increasing the visibility of Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) officers in stations and incorporating more frequent patrols throughout the system. Customers will see special police officers walking trains and buses to provide a sense of security and address illegal activity in real time. Announcements made over train intercoms will alert customers that officers are on board and actively patrolling.

To supplement this effort, WMATA is also utilizing more than 30,000 cameras on buses, trains and in stations, making it possible for MTPD to respond to incidents and emergencies faster. The state-of-the-art cameras provide clear images that are often used by MTPD and other local law enforcement agencies to identify suspects and make arrests.

In 2023, WMATA increased patrols by 70 percent through partnerships with local law enforcement and special police officers. Additionally, enforcement is up 300 percent overall and new faregates in multiple locations have led to a decrease in fare evasion at those stations.

WMATA’s approach to improving safety also includes a focus on empathy and collaboration with the communities it serves, including eight crisis intervention specialists on staff and hundreds of community/youth outreach events held each year.

"As ridership increases, we want customers to see our officers and feel confident that we're doing our part to keep them safe,” said Metro Transit Police Chief Michael Anzallo. “We hope customers will interact with the special police officers during their patrols and develop a rapport that promotes positive community connections."

As WMATA’s focus on safety continues to evolve, customers will see additional changes throughout the system. WMATA has made lighting in stations brighter, added courtesy stops during late-night hours on Metrobuses to allow customers to get off closer to their destination, improved station signage and added more prominent safety information.

The authority is also rolling out a safety campaign on social media and digital signs throughout the region to illustrate how these efforts will enhance customer experience and cut down on crime.