'Not On Our Bus' program aims to increase transit rider safety

Starting tomorrow, Pierce Transit, the Tacoma Police Department, and the Tacoma Public Schools are partnering for “Not On Our Bus,” a 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, Security Officers, and Service Supervisors, 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. Riders who are found to be violating the Unlawful Transit Conduct Codes may be held immediately accountable by exclusion from Pierce Transit services for 90 days. Last year between Oct. 30 and Nov. 20, the “Not On Our Bus” effort was implemented to address a number of issues on buses, at transit centers, and at bus stops near certain high schools. Nearly 750 contacts were made, resulting in 68 ninety-day exclusions from Pierce Transit services for disorderly behavior or criminal activity. The emphasis areas include Pierce Transit routes 1, 2, 10, 11, 16, 42, 51, and 53; Pierce Transit facilities such as Lakewood Mall Transit Center, Tacoma Community College Transit Center, Tacoma Dome Station, and Tacoma Mall Transit Center; and Tacoma Public Schools such as Foss High School, Lincoln High School, Mt. Tahoma High School, Oakland High School, SAMI, Stadium High School, and Wilson High School.