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66 FIGURE 34 Toronto Transit Commission zero tolerance FIGURE 36 Edmonton Transit System signage. (Courtesy: signage. (Courtesy: Toronto Edmonton Transit System.) Transit Commission.) SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH say something" has been placed on buses. There is also a monetary reward offered to patrons for information regard- Community and school initiatives are believed to build stronger ing operator assaults. The signage and the reward offer en- relationships between the transit agency and the public. Tran- courage patrons to report all crimes, including suspicious sit agencies with a relatively high proportion of youths and incidents. Apprehending criminals and solving open cases agencies that transport students to and from their schools are effective in getting potentially violent individuals off the experience problems associated with unruly behavior and streets and out of CDTA's system. violence against bus operators. These agencies have initiated various forms of outreach to schools and communities in their service areas. Although it may take time for the benefits of Toronto Transit Commission, outreach efforts to be realized in terms of operator assault Toronto, Canada prevention, agencies believe that these efforts are valuable, The TTC in Toronto communicates the social unacceptabil- because increased familiarity and understanding of the transit ity of operator assaults and its commitment to protect its em- system and the job of the operator may make operator assaults ployees through posters on board buses, signage regarding less likely. video surveillance, and aggressive prosecution of offenders. An example of TTC signage is shown in Figure 34. Advantages Operator perspective--goodwill among operators is Edmonton Transit System, Alberta, Canada created through management support of operators by demonstrating that management is concerned and seri- In collaboration with the city of Edmonton and the local ous about their security. police department, ETS initiated a "Zero Tolerance" media Public perspective--promotes the image that the agency campaign in which the mayor and the chief of police partici- is a good citizen of the communities it serves. pated and proclaimed that the entire city will not tolerate fur- Agency perspective--is relatively inexpensive and can ther assaults on Edmonton bus operators. As part of this cam- address multiple objectives (e.g., operator assault, pas- paign, "Zero Tolerance" stickers are being placed on all senger safety, passenger security). buses (see Figures 35 and 36). Several years ago, ETS cre- ated a BOB persona as part of its Behaviour on Buses (BOB) program. The BOB persona, now well known in the commu- Disadvantage nity, provides friendly reminders to ETS users about positive bus behaviors. The BOB program received the National Agency perspective--can take time for the positive ef- Transit Corporate Recognition Award for 2006 from CUTA. fects of school outreach initiatives to be seen. In 2010, ETS also introduced a Captain Commute character that is knowledgeable about all aspects of ETS and attends school and community events to promote public transit. Agency Experience Greater Cleveland Regional Transportation Authority, Cleveland, Ohio GCRTA buses are used for transporting high school students to and from their schools. These students have been the source of most incidents. The most problematic time is dur- ing afternoon school dismissal times. To address this issue, GCRTA decided to perform outreach to younger children (first through eighth graders) before they reach high-school FIGURE 35 Edmonton Transit System signage. (Courtesy: age. GCRTA created a special bus that has become an inte- Edmonton Transit System.) gral part of its outreach efforts and helps GCRTA staff teach

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67 HRT staff will work as liaisons to the community to improve their transit experience. VIA Metropolitan Transit, San Antonio, Texas VIA has developed a comprehensive educational outreach program. Its school and community outreach programs are unique in that some of these programs are designed to accom- modate very young (pre-K) children as well as older ones. VIA has a "Classroom on Wheels" safety presentation using a specially designed VIA bus. The 30-min program, which can include a bus ride, is targeted toward pre-K through fifth- grade students and teaches students the benefits of public transportation and bus safety. VIA also provides VIA facil- ity tours to school children. VIA also has a character, Buster, FIGURE 37 GCRTA school outreach. (Courtesy: GCRTA.) who represents a bus and visits schools and community events to educate school children and the public about VIA (see Fig- ure 39). VIA holds a Youth Art Contest in March of every year younger children how to ride the bus and the importance of for students in pre-K through twelfth grade. Student artwork is good behavior. GCRTA's marketing, safety, and police divi- displayed inside VIA buses, and contest winners receive sav- sions are all involved in the school outreach effort, which ings bonds and recognition. VIA's Adopt-a-Bus Shelter Pro- takes place, at a minimum, on a monthly basis. The school gram encourages local groups, including schools, to adopt a bus, shown in Figures 37 and 38, contains computers, a finger- bus shelter and help maintain it and, in exchange, VIA rec- printing device, and other equipment. ognizes the group by installing a plaque at the bus shelter. Fare discounts encourage children and teenagers to use VIA and become familiar with the system. A Class Pass Program Hampton Roads Transit, Hampton, Virginia HRT serves 1.3 million residents in seven cities in Virginia: Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach. HRT has been providing "how to ride" presentations to community groups, assisted living facilities, organizations catering to people with disabilities, schools, and special events. HRT also plans or participates in various special events designed to raise awareness about HRT services and its safety outreach program. Other community outreach efforts include the creation of a board-sanctioned advisory committee composed of Hampton Roads Transit cus- tomers. HRT is developing an Ambassador Program in which FIGURE 39 VIA Metropolitan Transit "Classroom on Wheels" FIGURE 38 GCRTA school outreach. (Courtesy: GCRTA.) video. (Courtesy: VIA Metropolitan Transit.)