Transit and crime

I get quoted in this Minnesota Daily article about the Central Corridor. Some of the students are quoted talking about the “wrong people”. I respond ““I don’t think the [personal] safety issues are any worse than with bus,”” Light-rail project 74% complete.

I assume the “wrong people” being referred to in the article are criminals, as opposed to ordinary townies.
The data on does transit bring crime is not well organized or complete. A 2011 study “THE EFFECTS OF THE ANNOUNCEMENT AND OPENING OF LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT STATIONS ON NEIGHBORHOOD CRIME”, STEPHEN B. BILLINGS, SUZANNE LELAND, DAVID SWINDELL says:

The debate over crime and rail transit focuses on whether such investments “breed” criminal activities with new targets of opportunity or transport crime from the inner city to the suburbs. Yet, little empirical evidence exists on whether new rail transit actually does lead to increased crime rates around stations. In order to study this question, we test the relationship between crime and rail transit with the 2007 opening of the Charlotte light rail line. We use Geographical Information Systems software and micro-level data on reported crimes to generate measures of criminal activity in and around light rail transit (LRT) stations. We then implement a quasi-experimental before-and-after methodology using two alternate transit corridors to control for differences between neighborhoods that contain LRT stations and other neighborhoods. We find light rail does not actually increase crime around stations. Instead, we see a decrease in property crimes once the station locations are announced, which remains relatively stable after the light rail begins operating.

2 thoughts on “Transit and crime”

  1. Looking about who rides the 16 now (aside from students), and our history with Rondo and the three in-fill stations, I can’t help but conclude that the “wrong people” comments are racially charged. I can’t believe the MN Daily thought those “concerns” are worth printing. It’s embarrassing.

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