Pierce Transit, the Tacoma Police Department, and Tacoma Public Schools are partnering to crack down on youth misbehavior near local high schools, starting this morning:

Starting Friday, Oct. 30, Pierce Transit, the Tacoma Police Department, and the Tacoma Public Schools are partnering for “NOT ON OUR BUS,” a three week zero-tolerance enforcement operation of unlawful and disruptive conduct on bus routes, at transit centers, and at bus stops near certain high schools.

Uniformed Pierce Transit Police and Security Officers along with Tacoma Police Officers will increase their presence on buses and conduct spot checks of identified bus stops and boarding areas near high schools. Undercover Pierce Transit Police and Security Officers and Tacoma Police Officers will also be riding buses and monitoring transit centers to enforce the State of Washington and the City of Tacoma’s Unlawful Transit Conduct Codes.

Emphasis areas:

Pierce Transit Routes: 1, 10, 11, 16, 51, 53

Pierce Transit Facilities: Lakewood Mall Transit Center, Tacoma Community College Transit Center, Tacoma Dome Station, Tacoma Mall Transit Center

Tacoma High Schools: Foss, Lincoln, Mt Tahoma, Stadium, Wilson

Riders [in violation] may be held immediately accountable by exclusion from Pierce Transit services for 90 days.

According to spokesman Lars Erickson, this effort was inspired by an incident with some students last September, as well as an increase in criminal and disruptive behavior by minors over the last three years.

As for how a transit ban is enforced, he said:

Our Pierce Transit Police Officers or Security Officers regularly issue exclusions.  An alert with names, photos and violation information are posted in the operator’s lobby.  Each violator’s info is put into a database, so we can track individuals and incidents.  Our recidivism rate is less than 3%, which we consider exceptional.

15 Replies to “Not on our bus”

  1. “Certain” high schools? The list consists of ALL the regular high schools in the Tacoma School Disrict. The only ones not on there are a couple of smaller alternative schools.

  2. Hope they won’t use this as an excuse to target all youths whether or not they’re doing anything wrong…

    1. Mike B.

      Why the quotes around the term “suspicious”? The word doesn’t appear in the article.

      Two words that DO appear are “unlawful” and “disruptive”.

      Are you seriously bent on arguing that there should be no enforcement action to discourage and/or penalize behavior that is unlawful and/or disruptive?

      Do tell.

    2. From the code:

      10. Engages in conduct not described in subsections 1 through 9 which is inconsistent with the intended use and purpose of the transit station or transit vehicle and refuses to obey the lawful command(s) of an agent of the transit authority or a peace officer to cease such conduct.

      Yup, off to jail with Mike B!

    1. Erik,

      I’m guessing that the non-juvenile commuter type is probably a bit more enthusiastic of this enforcement policy than you are. Folks who ride the bus shouldn’t feel unsafe, and cutting down in disruptive behavior aboard buses – one of the ultimate captive audience situations with an add-in of speed and movement – should go a ways towards making folks worry less about their safety in that environment.

      A quick study (and what the heck – a review of all of those political science and history classes I took as an undergraduate) convinces me that encouraging folks to behave in a civilized manner aboard public transportation bears no resemblance to any known definition of “fascism”.

    1. Another good example – disruptive behavior on board buses (or spilling out onto the street from a bus) should not be tolerated. Unfortunately, drivers aren’t empowered – and are even actively discouraged – from intervening in any conflict on or off the bus in any way, and do not have ready access to security, nor does security have an active presence on even problem bus routes.

      What happened to this couple was unfortunate and unacceptable. Regrettably, this lawsuit didn’t solve anything, or result in any change in Metro policy regarding driver expectations of responding to incidents on board the bus. The policy remains that if a disruption is occurring on board a bus, the driver is to pull over at the next safe location and open all doors to allow perpetrators and/or potential victims to leave the captive environment of the bus – and that’s about it.

  3. One of the biggest problems transit has here in St. Louis is that people perceive the buses & light rail as unsafe. Any type of disturbance is widely reported in the media and serves only to feed those fears, no matter how many safe and comfortable commutes people make every day. Visibly increasing security, or undertaking these kinds of initiatives, gives people the cues that the transit agency takes people’s fears seriously and wants to help protect them from harm. Remember, some people are carless by choice but many are by necessity and depend on transit to access their job, school, family, doctor, grocery, you name it. Should those people be subjected to unruly, loud, rude, thuggish behavior? Of course not, no one should! Remember, Giuliani “cleaned up” New York by starting with quality-of-life offenses like public urination and vandalism. These seemingly small offenses matter tremendously to the feel and accessibility of a place, even if that place is on wheels.

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