LA buses have panic buttons, but they reportedly don't work

Safety concerns on LA buses continue to rise. A recent transportation meeting revealed major shortcomings on LA DASH buses, including radio systems that do not work and panic buttons that aren't connected to any emergency services. 

LA City Councilwoman Traci Park, who attended the meeting, told FOX 11 that several bus drivers expressed concern over the lack of adequate training. She also expressed concern over the plexiglass shields, saying they don't protect drivers.

"Our DOT general manager shared that those were actually installed as a COVID prevention measure. And so, it really struck me as I was thinking about the hearing, you know, those are there to stop a virus, not to stop a bullet," Park said. 

She said investments must be made in order to help improve safety features on DASH buses. This includes panic buttons that need to be wired to emergency dispatch centers and have working cameras that first responders can easily access. 


"We are spending billions of dollars on public transit as part of our strategy to meet our climate goals, but there's absolutely no reason to do that if riders don't feel and aren't safe using it. And if the conditions for our drivers are so unsafe that we have trouble even getting them to come to work. So there are investments that are going to be necessary, but they're a drop in the bucket when it comes to the overall systems and the importance of ultimately meeting those transit goals."

The findings from LADOT come as Metro faces scrutiny over a rash of violence on or near their buses. In April and May, at least six stabbings or shootings were reported on or near Metro buses and trains.