We are shocked and saddened by the senseless act of violence that took place on a MAX train last week. Our hearts go out to the victim, Michael Brady, and his family and friends. We’re also thinking of those who witnessed the attack and our employees affected by this tragedy.

We appreciate the quick actions of the Portland Police Bureau and Transit Police officers that resulted in taking the suspect into custody.

As with other public places, transit should be a safe space for people to move from place to place, not one where you feel uncomfortable or in fear about your wellbeing or that of fellow riders.

Here’s what we’re doing to address safety and security on our system:

Growing our safety team

Since the start of 2022, we have more than doubled our safety and security staff, and we now have nearly 400 people who play a role in providing safety, security or social service outreach—more than ever before.

Our teams are here to help you get where you need to go safely and reliably. Some of the personnel you’ll see on our system include:

  • Transit Security Officers are unarmed contracted security staff who patrol the TriMet system, conduct welfare checks, discourage inappropriate and illegal behavior, and assist riders and employees. Some 160 team members patrol the system and provide support 24 hours a day.
  • Our Customer Safety Supervisors are TriMet staff who check fares and make sure people are following the rules for riding. They’re assisted by Customer Safety Officers who are contracted security staff. They’re unarmed and patrol our system to assist riders and employees, while discouraging inappropriate and illegal behavior.
  • The Safety Response Team discourages inappropriate and illegal behavior with an emphasis on riders in need, conducting social service outreach and providing referrals to health care, housing, mental health and addiction services. They provide an additional safety presence on our system. They’re not armed, but they are trained in conflict resolution and carry Narcan.
  • We’re also working to grow the ranks of our Transit Police Division, which the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office oversees. Transit Police is a dedicated unit of officers who provide more presence and respond to incidents on the system. Our region, like many others across the country, has a shortage of police officers, but we’re engaging other agencies in our service area to contribute officers when they are able.
  • All law enforcement officers, whether with Transit Police or not, respond to serious incidents reported on our system.


Partnering with local and state leaders

Our safety approach is more than just adding security team members. We’re working with local and state leaders to address challenges in the community that extend on to our transit system.

  • In October 2023, we expanded an agreement with the Multnomah County District Attorney (DA)’s office to provide two investigators to assist the deputy DAs in compiling information on TriMet-related cases. Two deputy DAs are assigned to TriMet to prosecute major and minor felonies, and misdemeanor and minor felony cases. TriMet has a long-standing intergovernmental agreement with the DA office that dates back to February 1998.
  • More than 8,000 security cameras monitor MAX stations, transit centers, elevators and activity on board our buses and trains. Buses have monitors near the front that show a live camera feed from inside the vehicle.
  • Legislation has been signed by Oregon’s governor to make drug use on transit vehicles illegal beginning in early 2025. Before then, a new law will make possession of small amounts of hard drugs a crime once again, beginning Sept. 1. That will include all public spaces in Oregon including on our buses and trains, at stations and stops and inside transit centers.


Rider safety tips

Here’s what you can do if you see an incident on board or need help:

  • Text or call 503-238-7433 (RIDE), or submit a report online, to report a non-urgent concern, like smoking or vandalism, directly to TriMet Security 24 hours a day. For an urgent concern, alert the operator or text or call 911 in an emergency.
  • If you’re on a MAX train, press the emergency call button to contact the operator. If you’re on a bus, you can speak with the operator.
  • If someone’s behavior is making you uncomfortable, move away from them to another area of the vehicle, closer to others if possible. On MAX, consider moving to the other car, if running as a two-car train.