Crime spiked 50 percent on Metro Transit trains and buses last year

Met Council Chairman Charlie Zelle has yet to acknowledge the brutal, not to mention embarrassing, fact he oversees the most dangerous light rail system in the country. As American Experiment first revealed, federal data submitted by the Met Council shows the Twin Cities light rail lines far surpass other cities when it comes to crime.

According to federal data, people who decide to step on light rail in the Twin Cities are at more risk for being injured by an assailant than any other light rail system in America. This dramatically higher rate of crime and injury on Metro Transit light rail reveals years of mismanagement.  

Metro Transit made a big media splash last year announcing its latest plan to stem the violence and entice passengers back. But the more things change, the more they not only stay the same, but get worse.

Dramatic 2022 crime data just released by the Met Council show the agency remains utterly over its head in trying to crack down on vagrants and criminals and protect the public. Not only on light rail cars, but Metro Transit buses as well. The astounding rise in crime and violence was carried by the Star Tribune.

Crime reports related to Metro Transit’s trains and buses increased by 54% in 2022 over the number in the previous year, the agency’s officials reported Wednesday to the Metropolitan Council.

Narcotics and weapons complaints soared by 182% and 145% respectively, and liquor law violations rose by 92%.

“This is still very much a learning experience for us,” said Metro Transit Interim Police Chief Rick Grates, who called some of the statistics “very eye-opening.”

It’s also been quite a “learning experience” for many of the riding public, who’ve been victimized along the way.

The most frequent violations committed throughout the transit system last year involved vandalism and property crime, Grates said, followed by simple assault (which doesn’t involve weapons or serious physical harm).

But serious crimes do occur, including the fatal shooting last month of two people at the Green Line’s Central Station in downtown St. Paul. Metro Transit Police have identified a suspect in the shootings, but he is at large.

Metro Transit’s empty promises only further undercut public confidence in the agency. The Strib’s story elicited more than 400 responses from readers and riders, overwhelmingly skeptical of the bureaucrats in charge and the likelihood of their capability to restore order.

I’ve lived in DC, Boston, and Atlanta. The public transit system here in Minneapolis/Saint Paul is deplorable. I never feel safe. I used to take the light rail to the airport (I travel extensively for work) and will never do that again. You shouldn’t be able to enter a train without paying first and passing through a secure turnstile. That doesn’t exist here. Crime at certain stops (Franklin Ave.) is awful and the police are not empowered to do anything about it. You get what you vote for! (Reader comment)