VTA's Transit Watch program, is a public awareness and education campaign patterned after the successful “Neighborhood Watch” program. While VTA is already one of the safest transit agencies in the nation, the Transit Watch campaign encourages everyone to help keep VTA safe by being aware of their surroundings and alert to activities, packages or situations that seem suspicious. If something out of the ordinary is observed, it should be reported immediately to the bus or light rail operator, fare inspector, uniformed security officer or law enforcement authorities.
The Transit Watch message is simple but effective: we all have a responsibility to look out for the safety and security of ourselves and our fellow citizens. If we make a commitment to get involved and watch out for each other, everyone will benefit! Refer to the following tips:
Be informed and have a plan for action when riding public transportation:
- Familiarize yourself with bus stops and light rail stations
- Know the location of emergency exits on bus and light rail
- Locate intercoms to report suspicious packages, substances or activities on light rail
- Inform bus operator of any suspicious packages, substances or activities
- In an emergency situation remain calm and listen for station, train or bus announcements
- Do not prevent train or bus doors from closing
- Follow instructions given by VTA employees. Proceed in an orderly fashion.
Be on the alert for suspicious objects or substances. If you spot an unattended package or object, look for the following:
- Placement in an out-of-the-way location
- Individuals in the act of abandoning the object, package or substance and quickly leaving the area
- Objects with unusual items attached such as batteries, wires, tanks, bottles or bags
- An attached message or note
- A suspicious cloud, mist, gas, vapor, odor or seeping fluid
- Nearby individuals showing signs of illness or distress.
What to do:
DO NOT confront suspicious individuals or touch suspicious objects, packages or substances. Call 911 immediately or contact a VTA employee. Do not use a cellular phone until you are a safe distance away(approximately 300 feet). If possible, use a landline phone to report a suspicious object, package or substance.
Personal Preparedness tips:
- Create an advanced plan for maintaining contact with family members if separated as a result of an emergency
- Create an advanced plan for maintaining contact with close friends and colleagues during an extended emergency period
- Keep a record of all contact and emergency information and update it regularly as needed
- Select a location outside your home as a family meeting point should your home need to be evacuated
- Identify alternate routes and means of reaching your meeting point in the event your main route is impassible
- Keep a local map handy for reference
- Make sure your emergency information and contact numbers are with you at all times.
BE INFORMED. BE INVOLVED. BE ALERT. BE PREPARED.
Be Involved in a Lifesaving Partnership: Transit Employees and Passengers
As a resource, VTA employees provide a wealth of specialized knowledge and on-the-job experience. Likewise, our passengers contribute to security by providing thousands of extra eyes and ears capable of identifying possible emergency situations.
When VTA employees and our passengers pool these resources, the result is a highly effective deterrent against a potential natural or man-made disaster. So, please make a commitment to becoming an alert, informed, prepared and involved member of this partnership.
Your efforts will go a long way toward maintaining the safety and security of our transit system