TriMet Downtown 6th Ave

Reimagining Public Safety & Security on Transit

Calls for racial justice in policing have led to candid conversations about race, safety, equity and the need for lasting change. As the public transit provider for our region, which relies on support from local law enforcement to ensure the safety of our riders and employees, TriMet has taken this opportunity to rethink, to reimagine, our approach to safety on our system so everyone feels welcome.

This began on July 1, 2020, when TriMet made the first step, redirecting $1.8 million in police contracts and additional funding to explore new community-based services to expand our safety approach.

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Transit Public Safety Advisory Committee Recommendations

Over the course of seven meetings, the Transit Public Safety Advisory Committee reviewed and discussed the information gathered through extensive community outreach and research, and developed a series of recommendations and priorities. TriMet’s leadership is considering those recommendations, including the top three:

  1. Conducting agency-wide training on anti-racism, cultural competency, mental health, and de-escalation techniques for TriMet employees that is based on real-world situations and offered on a continuous basis, leveraging community expertise.
  2. Increasing the presence of TriMet personnel on the system and exploring community ambassador rider support models. The additional presence should strive to be diverse, reflecting the region’s age, race, and ability, and focused on making the system safer and more welcoming.
  3. Developing a Crisis Intervention Team model that is focused on supporting transit riders experiencing a mental health crisis or other behavioral health issues.

The Advisory Committee noted that regional coordination and partnering across jurisdictions would be needed to allow TriMet to scale up its ability to advance these recommendations. The committee also voiced support for additional priority investments, including:

  • Continuing to make security-related infrastructure improvements, with a focus on lighting, and general system cleanliness,
  • Working with the community to develop and launch public messaging campaigns to clearly explain how the security system works and their part in it; and,
  • Leveraging additional technology applications to support riders and staff using apps and software.



TriMet’s steps to reimagining public safety and building a better transit system together with our community




Engaging with riders, community members, local leaders, as well as frontline employees and security staff, through virtual town halls, listening sessions, surveys and focus groups


Partnering with the Coalition of Communities of Color to ensure feedback from a range of voices reflecting all those we serve



Identifying best practices in the transit industry for public safety and equity


Analyzing regional security challenges and TriMet incident data to identify opportunities for different security approaches



Gathering a committee of regional thought leaders and national transit safety experts to advise TriMet as we move forward on community-informed safety efforts







Develop engagement
Listening sessions
Rider online surveys
Partner online surveys
Virtual town halls
External & internal research
Listening sessions
Rider online surveys
Partner online surveys
Virtual town halls
External & internal research
Transit Public Safety Advisory Committee
External & internal research
Transit Public Safety Advisory Committee
Recommendations to Board of GM
Recommendations to Board of Directors

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Serving our Region

TriMet provides bus, light rail and commuter rail service in the Portland, Oregon, region. Our transportation options connect people with their community, while easing traffic congestion and reducing air pollution — making our region a better place to live. TriMet’s service district covers 533 square miles and serves a region of more than 1.8 million people.

We have a lot of people on our system, keeping riders safe and helping everybody get where they need to go.

Transit Public Safety Advisory Committee

TriMet thanks the regional thought leaders, community representatives and national transit experts who served on the Transit Public Safety Advisory Committee.


Marcus Mundy
Coalition of Communities of Color

Joe McFerrin
POIC, Rosemary Anderson High School

Anthony Deloney
Self Enhancement Incorporated (SEI)

Patricia Daniels
Constructing Hope

Jan Campbell
Disability Rights Oregon, TriMet CAT

Kevin Modica
Retired Police Transit Commander

Kenechi Onyeagusi
Professional Builders Development Group

Deshawn Hardy
Highland African American Youth Coalition

Lakayana Drury
Word Is Bond

Lauren Cohen
Cascadia Behavioral Health

Jacky Yerby
State of Oregon, Basic Rights Oregon

Johnathon Colon
Centro Cultural

Dr. Beverly Scott
Former Transit System General Manager

Polly Hanson
American Public Transportation Association

Emily Nelson


Project Partners

Thank you to the organizations and groups who participated in the reimagining public safety and security project.

Africa House
African Family Holistic Health Organization
As the Spirit Moves Us
ATU leadership
Black & Beyond the Binary Collective CAIR
Central City Concern
Centro Cultural
Clackamas Community College
Committee on Accessible Transportation
Constructing Hope
Division Midway Alliance
El Programa Hispano
FACT Oregon
Fair Housing Coalition
Flossin Media/Soul District
Guardian Angels
Hacienda CDC
Home Plate Youth Services
Latino Network
Lewis and Clark Gender Project

LIF participants
Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA)
NECN (Northeast Neighborhood Coalition)
Oregon Futures Lab (CCC partner organization)
Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF)
Portland Community College
Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives, Inc. (PCRI)
Portland Office of Community and Civic Life
Portland United Against Hate
Resolutions Northwest
Rosewood Initiative
Self Enhancement, Inc. (SEI)
Street Trust
System security staff and partners
The Slavic Network of Oregon
Transit Equity Advisory Committee
TriMet bus operators
TriMet rail operators
TriMet Riders Club
TriMet service workers
Unite Oregon
We All Rise