In an effort to combat sexual harassment on Metrorail trains and stations, the transportation agency announced an outreach program to get riders to report bad behavior.
Metro Transit police officers joined with Collective Action for Safe Spaces and Stop Street Harassment to raise awareness about sexual harassment at Metro stations in Maryland, Virginia and the District. Meetings with the public were held at five different Metro stations during the Tuesday evening rush hour.
The outreach was intended to reinforce the message that public transit is a safe space for every rider and to encourage anyone who feels that they are the victim of harassment to report it to police.
“Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and have the right to travel without being harassed or intimidated,” said Metro Transit police Chief Ron Pavlik. “We encourage anyone who feels they have been the victim of harassment to report it, regardless of whether you believe it rises to the level of a crime.”
Two indecent exposure incidents in late March and early April highlighted the need for the campaign. The Metropolitan Police Department said one incident occurred at the Branch Avenue Metro station on March 27, and the other occurred on a Red Line train between the Medical Center and Bethesda stations on April 1.
The two men sought in connection with the incidents are not in custody.
While reports of harassment declined by 32 percent last year, Pavlik said they consider any report of harassment "one too many.”
Metro said any customer who is harassed, threatened or assaulted is urged to report it to Metro Transit police immediately by calling 202-962-2121, texting MyMTPD (696873) or online at wmata.com/harassment.