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Supervisors Urge Action Against Bus-Stop Crimes

April 18, 1985

Expressing "deep concern" over a UCLA study that found high crime levels at Westside bus stops, the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday asked Southern California Rapid Transit District officials to consider bolstering programs to protect bus riders.

Supervisor Ed Edelman, who made the motion, asked that the RTD report to the board within 60 days on the feasibility of restoring funding for a program in which police officers regularly ride buses. The program was cut back 50% last year. He also asked the RTD to consider allowing off-duty police officers to ride the bus free and strengthening police protection near problem bus stops.

Edelman also asked the RTD to respond to the UCLA study, made public this week. The study concluded that the level of bus-related crimes--including those committed against people riding buses, waiting for buses, and walking to and from bus stops--are far worse than RTD statistics have shown.

According to the study of 1,088 households in West-Central Los Angeles, bus-related crimes against drivers or passengers were 20 to 30 times higher than the RTD reported in 1983.

Hazardous Bus Stops

Although the bus stop with the highest crime rate was in downtown Los Angeles, Edelman said, other dangerous bus stops include those at Hollywood Boulevard and Western Avenue, Fairfax Avenue and Melrose Avenue, Fairfax and 3rd Street, and Fairfax and Wilshire Boulevard.

Supervisor Kenneth Hahn also asked the county chief administrative officer to confer with local judges to determine whether the courts can help crack down on bus-related crimes, including the possibility of designating a special judge to prosecute such crimes.

"The citizen has every right to believe that he is on a public bus and he is protected by the government," Hahn said.

"The word should get out that if you're going to commit a crime on a bus, you're going to go to jail."

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