LADOT bus radios, panic buttons 'do nothing,' say Committee

With violence on Los Angeles Metro buses and trains making headlines over the last few months, other transportation agencies are also being put under the spotlight, reviewing security standards. Audio from a recent LA City Council Transportation Committee meeting shows that safety features on many DOT and Dash buses are either insufficient or broken.

"The ongoing concerns about lack of training — we've heard that repeatedly over the course of many meetings, not just on this issue, but on others," Councilmember Traci Park said during Wednesday's meeting. "The radios aren't working, and the panic buttons do nothing."

Dash buses provide local transportation through LA's neighborhood, and link up with Metro buses and rail services. 

Metro has come under fire in recent months, with at least six stabbings or shootings reported on or near Metro buses and trains in April and May. While Metro is in charge of policing on its buses, the attacks near the transit buses or at bus stops on public streets are the jurisdiction of the city or county’s law enforcement agency.

But, as Park said during Wednesday's meeting, concerns about violence persist in LADOT as well.

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"We see a lot of violent, dangerous, unstable people using public transit every day," Park said Wednesday. "And I feel like our riders and our operators are left our there to fend for themselves, unprotected."

Several bus operators FOX 11 spoke with agreed. 

"No, I don't feel safe," said one. "I don't understand why the police don't come." 

Another said that he sees a lot of homeless on the bus, and faces a lot of "problems."

FOX 11 has reached out to DOT for a statement and is waiting to hear back.