Safety and Security on Metrobus and Metrorail
This page lists Metrobus and Metrorail safety and security tips and features. Also see the emergency evacuation animation (requires Flash).
On Buses | On Escalators | On Trains | In Stations and Along Right-of-Way |
In Central Control | Training | Panhandlers | Prevent Theft and Fraud | Auto Theft
- In case of threatening or disruptive behavior aboard the bus,
an operator can activate a silent alarm that goes through Central
Control to the police. The disruptive passenger has no way of
knowing the alarm has been activated or that police are on their
way. When the alarm is activated, the destination sign on most buses
automatically changes to EMERGENCY! CALL POLICE and the
outside running lights flash to let approaching police know which
bus sent out the alarm.
- In any other type of emergency, the bus operator can call central
control on the bus radio to request the help needed. For information about evacuation procedures, see the emergency
evacuation animation. (Requires Flash)
- Metrobus has earned the nation's top bus safety award because
of its safety record and aggressive safety programs. Bus operators receive refresher training, focusing primarily
on safety, every two years. Many Metrobus operators are trained
in CPR, the Heimlich Maneuver, and other first aid procedures.
- Metrobus uses its own safety teams to ensure operators follow
all safety rules.
For tips on escalator safety, see the Metrorail escalator safety page.
- Call boxes at the end of each rail car enable any rider to report
an emergency to the operator. The train operator is in constant radio
communication with Central Control.
- Every rail car has an emergency door release behind the panel
next to the middle doors. The panel carries instructions for releasing the doors and
evacuating passengers. For more information about evacuation procedures, see the emergency
evacuation animation. (requires
- Door chimes alert passengers to stay clear of the doors as they
open or close.
- The train operator has ready access to an emergency button that instantly
locks all the wheels on the train.
In Stations and Along Right-of-Way
- Do not run in the station.
- When waiting for a train, stand near other passengers. Do not
stand on the platform's granite edge.
- Listen for instructions over the loudspeaker system in the
event that station evacuation is necessary. See the emergency
evacuation animation. (requires Flash)
- Promptly leave the platform after exiting the train.
- If you need directions, ask the Metro station manager.
- Call boxes mounted on pylons on station platforms enable passengers
to report emergencies to the station manager.
- Closed circuit video cameras cover every area of the station.
Monitors are in the station manager's kiosk.
- Clear, uninterrupted sight lines, an architectural feature of
every station, practically eliminate areas where criminals can
hide. Enhanced lighting in all stations further reduces shadow areas that could be used for concealment.
- Emergency call boxes are located at the far end of station platforms
and every 800 feet along the tracks. Marked by blue lights,
these boxes provide a hotline into Central Control and a button
for bringing down third-rail power in extreme emergencies.
- Flashing lights on the platform edge warn of approaching trains.
A recessed area directly beneath the platform edge provides
emergency shelter for anyone who falls from the platform when
a train is approaching. Anyone forced to use this area
should use extreme care not to touch any part of the train while
awaiting rescue. Exposed components beneath the car carry high
- Special antennas run through all tunnels to ensure high quality
communication between police and fire departments responding to
an underground emergency. Metro has a specially designed emergency
evacuation cart for anyone unable to walk from the rail right-of-way.
- Chain link fences block people from trying to cross outdoor
Metrorail tracks. If anything hits the fences, causing a break or tilt, an alarm
goes off in Central Control and any Metro train in the vicinity
In Central Control
- Central Control has a computer display showing the precise location
of every train in the system.
- Central Control has a hotline to every police and fire department
in the region.
Training and Procedures
- Metro conducts occasional mock disaster drills. We also provide
intensive training for local fire and police departments on procedures
for responding to Metro emergencies.
- All members of the Metro Transit Police (MTP) and many supervisors,
station managers, and rail operators are trained in first aid procedures,
including CPR and the Heimlich maneuver. Ongoing safety training is part of the job of every train operator,
station manager, and operations supervisor in the system.
Dealing with Panhandlers
- Panhandling and soliciting of any kind are prohibited on Metro.
- Donate your money where it can do the most good, by supporting local
social service programs.
Help Prevent Theft and Fraud
Take precautions to protect your valuables:
- Don't purchase a Metro farecard or pass from people on the street.
It might be counterfeit.
- To prevent others from knowing where and how much money you
are carrying, purchase a SmarTrip® card or a multi-ride farecard.
- Always keep your jewelry and other valuables out of sight.
Turn rings so that precious stones are on the palm side of your
- Keep a firm grip on your purse, but avoid wrapping the
strap around your hand or wrist.
- Use a purse with a secure clasp. Keep the purse close to your body and
your hand on the clasp.
- Carry your wallet inside your coat or side trouser pocket, never in
your rear trouser pocket. Also, place a rubber band around your wallet
to feel resistance if it is removed from your pocket.
- Beware of loud arguments or commotions that may be staged to distract
you while your pocket is picked.
- If your pocket is picked, yell out immediately to warn others. Don't
be afraid to shout. Tell the train or bus operator and request the
- Avoid standing near train car doors to lessen your chance of being
crowded or bumped by others. If you're jostled in a crowd, a pickpocket
may be responsible.
- Never sleep on a train or bus.
Help Prevent Auto Theft
Every 20 seconds, a car is stolen in the United States. Don't be a
victim. To help prevent the theft of your automobile, remember these tips:
- Park in busy, lighted areas.
- Lock your car and take your key.
- Use an anti-theft device.
- Take valuables with you or lock them in the trunk of your car.
- Use caution if hiding an extra key; thieves know where to find
- Keep your driver's license with you and store the vehicle's
registration out of sight. If convenient, take this document with you as
- Have your car key ready as you approach your car.
- Be aware of people near you, especially at night.