110 assaults at light rail stations over ten month period

LRTLight rail keeps moving along in the metro with the $1.8 billion new Green line extension from Minneapolis to Eden Prairie  on schedule to start construction in 2017.  The costs to build the lines are high, but the personal costs to the victims of violent crime around the stations are immeasurable.

WCCO News reported this week that they “waited months” before receiving crime incident data from Metro Transit about the two existing lines.

The news station interviewed a victim of a violent assault that took place during the early morning hours near the 46th street station in southeast Minneapolis.  The young female victim told the reporter that she’d like to see more saftey patrols:  “When I would come out here, it almost feels like you’re fending for yourself.”

WCCO compiled the crime statistics for a ten-month period from June 2014-March 2015 and determined that the Lake Street station in Minneapolis had the highest number of incidents at 858 (nearly 1/2 were due to riders not paying the fare.) Other crime incidents include assault, criminal sexual conduct, robberies, and disorderly conduct calls.

WCCO’s interactive map can be viewed here.

We break down the statistics below:

The total number of crime incidents between the Blue and Green lines from June of 2014 to March of 2015 was 10,952 and the crime was evenly split between the two.  The Blue Line’s eighteen stops (in Minneapolis and Bloomington,) had 5,474 incidents and the Green Line’s eighteen stops in St. Paul, three in Minneapolis on the University of Minnesota campus) had 5,478.

The breakdown of violent crime for all of the Green line stations was 46 assaults and 34 robberies.  The worst stop for assaults was the Snelling Ave. station with ten assaults over the ten month period.  For the Blue line stations (including the five stations that serve both lines), there were 64 assaults and 39 robberies. The Lake St. station had eighteen assaults, the Franklin Ave. station had fifteen and the Nicollet Mall station had ten over ten months.

Here are some of the assaults that have taken place at light rail stations in the past year:

WCCO interviewed Metro Transit chief John Harrington, who has been with the department for three years, reporting that he’s “made it a mission to get better at data-driven policing” and that “metro transit has added dozens of new officers this year to patrol the new stations in St. Paul.”