What else can we conclude from this KHOU-11 story by Jeff McShan that details the problems at Metro bus stops:
Searching through pages of Houston Police Department reports, in October alone, when Pamela was attacked, there were 35 other incidents at bus stops.
More than half were robberies and assaults. Many of the suspects were carrying guns, some had knives and baseball bats, but they were all preying on people just waiting for the bus.
Law enforcement sources said stops for bus 77, which travels south along MLK to Selinsky and North along Liberty to Mesa, are perhaps the most dangerous places to wait for a bus.
On a two-hour long bus ride on the number 77, several passengers, especially women, told 11 News that waiting for the bus around here can be frightening.
“And I think it would be much safer if people were patrolling and whatever — at least the little Metro police — and everything that could come by and make sure everybody is safe,” one young woman said.
She said she recently witnessed two men attack a woman and take her purse.
“I really try to travel with someone if I have to ride the bus,” she said.
At the end of the 77 line is the Mesa Transit Stop in far northeast Houston. One bus patron said they never see Metro police out there.
To get a complete picture of crime at Metro bus stops, 11 News examined reports from both Metro and HPD because neither has all of the incidents logged.
From January through October, there were at least 326 crimes reported at the bus stops. That number includes five rapes, 128 robberies and 42 aggravated assaults.
Many commuters say Metro police patrols around the bus stops would help.
“Yeah, have them close so they can keep us safe,” a patron said. “Because just like people downtown need safety, we need safety too.”
Metro has put a lot of its police force downtown. A confidential memo 11 News obtained outlines a major crime enforcement initiative along the rail corridor. And the Park and Ride lots received a $16 million security boost.
But what about the Metro stops?
So, while the 7.5 mile rail line gets the benefit of Metro’s elite counterterror unit, and perhaps a beefed up police presence (to deal with downtown’s homeless?), and Park and Pillages get the $16 million defensive camera system, Metro’s bus stops get…what exactly?
There are more than 12,000 Metro bus stops in Houston, and Metro said there is no way they can patrol every one of them and keep everybody safe. They hope neighborhoods will take action, check out their Web site, and adopt a Metro bus stop to keep it clean and safe.
Metro bus riders get to fend for themselves! Which is why Metro reminded customers more than two years ago that it’s legal to carry a gun on a bus, as long as one has a concealed carry permit.
What an abomination! Metro’s patrons have been raped, robbed, and assaulted at bus stops, and Metro whines that there are just too many to patrol. The truth is Metro chooses what it will and won’t do, and Metro has chosen to focus on the Main Street Rail Line, which leaves bus patrons out of luck.
If Metro can’t handle the job, it should get out of the business. What part of safety doesn’t Chief Lambert understand?
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