Metro #metoo: County calls on riders to report sexual misconduct

Metro has started a new campaign it hopes will help reduce incidents of lewd comments on its buses and increase reporting of sexual misconduct.

The “Report it to Stop It” campaign focuses on encouraging riders to report the problem: Metro is calling on riders to report misconduct by:

  • Telling their Metro bus driver at the time of the incident,
  • Calling the King County Sheriff’s Office/Metro Transit Police 206-296-3311,
  • Calling 911.

The push to encourage reporting comes amid a huge increase in reported incidents, according to officials. “Since the #MeToo movement gained widespread attention in October 2017, calls to KCSARC’s Resource Line have increased by more than 50% compared to the previous year,” Metro says.


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“The increase also appears to be reflected in Metro Transit Police reports: 66 incidents were reported in 2017, about half of which were from October-December. Most reports are for indecent exposure, indecent liberties such as unwanted touching, and other sex offenses.”

King County Metro carried a record 122.2 million riders in 2017.

Meanwhile, a texting app for Metro riders “to report sexual misconduct, other crimes or emergencies” is in development for the county and is scheduled to be released later this year.

Despite the increased reporting, Metro officials believe many incidents go unreported. “Dozens of victims or bystanders contact Metro police, transit operators and customer service each year with reports of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct,” they write. “But statistics don’t tell the entire story, and by some estimates up to 90% of incidents are underreported or unreported.”

You can learn more at kingcounty.gov.

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