Some students go downtown for a concert at the Verizon Center, while others go downtown for a nice dinner. No matter the reason, the Metro is a popular mode of transportation to get to a desired location. However, crime rates across this transit system have hit a five–year high, possibly preventing some parents from allowing their children to ride the Metro alone.
“I am going to have to reconsider how my daughter gets downtown now,” said CHS parent Barbara*, who asked to remain anonymous.
According to a Feb. 24 Washington Post article, aggravated assault and robbery are the most common crimes on the Metro transit system. From 2009 to 2010, the number of assaults increased from 94 to 136 and robberies increased from 425 to 508. The robbers most often targeted people holding electronic devices such as smart phones and iPods.
According to Barbara, her daughter is not permitted to have headphones in both ears at the same time in order to be aware of her surroundings.
“The crime doesn’t freak me out,” Barbara’s daughter, junior Rachel* said. “It just makes me more aware and cautious.”
According to the Metro security meeting notes available at www.wmata.com, Gallery Place, Metro Center, L’Enfant Plaza, Minnesota Avenue and Anacostia have the most crime incidents in Washington D.C. In MD, New Carrollton, Branch Avenue and Greenbelt hold the lead.
However, even with these staggering statistics, Rachel believes that she is safely able to ride the Metro alone from Metro Center to Judiciary Square.
“As long as all my belongings are tucked away and held firmly within my lap, I’m going to be fine,” Rachel said.
*Names have been changed because of safety concerns