SFMTA highlights success of MuniSafe and Safety Equality Initiative programs

May 7, 2024
Since the launch of the programs in 2022, the initiatives have worked to strengthen the agency’s work to prevent and address harassment across Muni vehicles, stops and stations.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) launched MuniSafe and the Safety Equity Initiative in 2022 to ensure Muni Metro and other SFMTA modes of transportation were safe for riders. The programs strengthen the agency’s work to prevent and address harassment across Muni vehicles, stops and stations. They also encourage people to report any issues.   

SFMTA says highlights of its safety efforts include: 

  • The hiring additional transit ambassadors who interact with customers and reduce potential conflicts. 
  • Continuing the partnership with San Francisco Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office to ensure crimes are investigated and prosecuted. 
  • The availability of at least 11 cameras on every Muni bus and rail vehicle that record video and sound to assist in potential criminal investigations. 
  • Sharing the MuniSafe message via text messages, wallet cards, tear sheets and emails, as well as putting up multilingual signs at 1,500 Muni stops and 15 Muni Metro stations, providing posters for businesses to display and promoting awareness through the “MuniSafe Day Out” campaign. 

What’s next: Using data to improve safety  

During the past year, SFMTA has gathered more accurate information about safety and security problems on Muni.   

Its annual community and rider surveys now ask about experiences with harassment on Muni to give the agency a much clearer picture of safety concerns and how they can address them. In 2023, SFMTA partnered with UCLA’s Institute of Transportation Studies for an in-depth survey about harassment experiences and the agency is moving forward with data-driven solutions.   

The agency notes a new law in the state of California requires the 10 largest transit agencies in the state to collect voluntary survey data about harassment. The goal: Identify root causes to improve safety. This year, SFMTA will conduct another in-depth survey to measure its progress, learn from other agencies across the state and continue to shape its work to keep everyone safe on Muni.   

Using this data and other learnings, SFMTA is now drafting a Safety Equity Action Plan. The agency is considering various steps to continue making Muni safer including:   

  • Improving bus stop lighting  
  • Working with community partners to address the needs and experiences of its diverse riders  
  • Developing new educational campaigns to help people act and get assistance  
  • Exploring additional staffing needs  
  • Improving incident reporting tools and mechanisms  
  • Improving and expanding its data collection