ST. LOUIS — The MetroLink Task Force says its proactive policing approach is contributing to a safer system and increased ridership in the area. It recently released its third quarter 2022 incident report showing ridership went up 7% over the second quarter.

The Metro Transit system is working with the St. Louis County Police, St. Louis Metropolitan Police and St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department and has contracted security partners at Allied Universal.

The increased security presence has lead to more incidents addressed this year over last year, which “sends a very clear message that crime is not tolerated on the MetroLink system,” according to a press release.  

“The shared commitment to this proven approach is translating into a majority (62%) of incident reports on the MetroLink system being self-initiated and generated by Metro Transit’s police partners,” the press release states.

Mental health and drug treatment resources also can be found on the Metro Transit system thanks to a successful partnership with Chestnut Health Systems.

Metro also says its policing and security partners are enforcing the Metro Transit’s Rider Code of Conduct, which focuses on improving the overall rider experience by addressing nuisance behaviors on Metro vehicles, platforms or transit centers.

In the third quarter incident report (July-September 2022), 178 incidents were reported, which is on par with 177 incidents that were reported in Quarter 2 and up from 153 reported in Quarter 3 of 2021, according to the press release. The report also states about 28% of incidents were warrant arrests and helping to remove known offenders from the system.

“The effectiveness of proactive policing comes from its ability to deter crime as our law enforcement partners take action prior to a crime being committed, allowing riders to feel safer while on the MetroLink,” said Kevin Scott, general manager of Security at Bi-State Development, the agency that operates the Metro Transit system.

“With more secondary officers assisting full-time police officers and deputies, as well as Metro Transit Security Specialists and contracted Allied Universal security officers assigned to MetroLink, we have the right team in place to continue to ensure the positive trends continue.”

Metro believes its $52 million Secure Platform Plan will also help improve safety. Construction is expected to start later this year. It calls for gated entrances to be added to all 38 MetroLink stations on the light rail system, according to the press release. More than $10 million in private funding has been donated to the project as well. It also has support by St. Louis City Mayor Tishaura Jones, St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page, and St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern.

“The progress we’re seeing with each quarterly Task Force Report is being driven by the continued collaboration between Metro Transit and its dedicated partners as we work in tandem to deliver a safe transit system and serve our growing customer base,” said Taulby Roach, Bi-State Development president and CEO.

Incident data is provided to Metro Transit by the St. Louis County Police Department, St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

To read the full third quarter report, click here.