St. Louis transit agency unveils personal safety app

Metro Transit-St. Louis last week unveiled a personal safety app that enables train and bus riders to discreetly contact law enforcement in emergencies.

Passengers who believe they are in an unsafe situation can open the “SafeTrek” app and hold their thumb on a “safe” button. Once safe, the rider releases the button and enters a customized four-digit number.

However, if riders need help, they can release the button without entering the number. The app then sends the user’s name, emergency information and location to local police, Metro Transit officials said in a press release.

If needed, SafeTrek dispatchers also will provide assistance from the moment an alert is triggered until police arrive. Passengers can communicate with dispatchers via calls or texts.

“While serious crime on the Metro system is rare, perception is reality for some of our customers. We want our riders to know their safety is very important to us and we want them to feel safe when they are taking Metro Transit,” said Metro Transit Executive Director Ray Friem.

Several other transit agencies have launched similar security apps. For example, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority rolled out its Transit Watch app in August 2017.

The Sacramento Regional Transit District and the Regional Transportation District of Denver also have created security apps.

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