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MTS addresses security and cleanliness on board trolleys

Two hundred security officers are tasked with patrolling the trolley and making sure passengers have a valid fare.

SAN DIEGO — MTS is working to improve rider satisfaction by tackling areas passengers say need extra attention.

In a recent survey, 9 out of 10 passengers who use the trolley say are satisfied with MTS services. However, when it comes to security and cleanliness – passengers want to see improvement. 

Edward Olivieri, a daily rider, is one of the many who relies on public transit each day, and says, MTS does provide good service, but should do more to maintain the security of all passengers.

"There should be more security, people here like myself – I’m going to work – I’d like to get to work safe," said Olivieri.

In 2021, MTS reported a total of: 27 robberies, 48 aggravated assaults,102 thefts, over 564 cases of vandalism, and 30 sexual offenses.

According to Olivieri, unsheltered individuals present an added challenge, "There is a lot of stuff that shouldn’t be happening, especially with kids, and other adults that ride the trolley, school kids, the elderly."

Mark Olson, director of marketing and communications, says MTS is aware of the problem and are working to find solutions.

"This isn't unique to San Diego, this isn't unique to California. These are challenges experienced in large urban settings with high populations all over the country," said Olson.

Two hundred security officers are tasked with patrolling the trolley and making sure passengers have a valid fare. There are also over 10,000 surveillance cameras keeping a watchful eye.

MTS says is focused on providing reliable transportation for all individuals, no matter their housing status. but stresses that everyone who intends to catch a ride, must have a valid fare.

"If somebody doesn't have a fare than they're required to de-board, get off the trolley and purchase a fare and if they decide that they don't want to do that and they want to stay on, then they will receive a citation," added Olson.

MTS has a hotline where people can call or text seven days a week, the program is called Ride Assured. It is available 24/7 via text (619) 318-1338 or phone (619-595-4960). 

Olson says MTS relies on riders to report what they see to make each ride as safe as possible.

"That could be something that makes somebody feel unsafe, or it could be something that is a mess that needs to be cleaned up on our trolley, but we want to know about it," added Olson.

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