In January 2021, King County Metro began our agency-wide Safety, Security, and Fare Enforcement (SaFE) Reform initiative in response to and in support of the King County Executive’s declaration of racism as a public health crisis.
Metro worked with diverse community-based organizations and engaged with roughly 8,000 individuals- including community members, customers, and Metro employees to learn what safety means to our riders and employees. We worked in partnership to develop our long-term vision of safe, accessible, and equitable transit and a set of strategies to achieve that vision.
SaFE Reform Priorities
We asked our riders and employees how we can reform our policies and practices to reach the community vision of safety and heard three consistent themes.
- First, a clear desire for an increased presence coupled with a timely and appropriate response if a danger arises, and that support shows up in an equitable way.
- Second, Metro should make the expectations of its Code of Conduct clear and should ensure that minor transgressions are not a pathway into the criminal legal system.
- And third, Metro should partner with community-based organizations to improve non-transit resources available to customers, and assist customers in crises related to fares, homelessness, mental health, etc., at various locations throughout the system.
The Safe Implementation Report describes recommendations to achieve the SaFE vision and was approved by the King County Council in May 2022.
Racism as a public health crisis
On June 11, 2020, King County declared racism a public health crisis. All of King County government is committed to implementing a racially equitable response to this crisis, centering on community. The SaFE Reform Initiative has been identified as a “down payment” to community to address the harmful negative effects of systemic racism.