Students concerned with safety on Muni

Harassment and violence on Muni is a serious problem, according to a majority of San Francisco public high school students surveyed.

Safety on Muni was deemed a “very serious problem” by 28 percent of students and “somewhat serious” by another 30 percent, according to the survey, conducted by San Francisco-based David Binder Research.

The survey of 8,144 students was conducted in February and students were polled on a variety of factors, from school food to security guards.

The district’s Safe School Task Force, made up of representatives from schools, Muni and the Police Department, are constantly working on ways to make public transit safer for students, said Trish Bascom, associate superintendent for student-support services at the San Francisco Unified School District.

“There’s been intimidation, harassment, verbal abuse and some fighting,” Bascom said. “Muni has procedures — they stop the bus and call the police. Often the perpetrators escape, but we have cameras, and in many cases we’ve been able to identify them.”

Muni workers ride buses along with students to minimize conflicts, and they work with school-based police to focus on recurring issues, according to Municipal Transportation Agency spokesman Judson True.

“We work closely with the school district and police to provide a safe environment for all of our customers,” True said.

Additionally, 61 percent of the students surveyed listed a lack of job prospects as a serious problem, more serious than fights at school, lack of after-school activities and trouble connecting with their peers.

“I want a job where I can make money for college — but I can’t get a job unless it’s at my school, because I’m only 15½,” said Mission High School sophomore Nicole Brooks, who said her peers who can legally work at 16 also struggle to find jobs.

California teens had an 18.4 percent unemployment rate in February — triple the adult average of 5.5 percent, according to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A number of factors — including lack of education and job skills, as well as the fact that their hours are limited during the school year — put teens at a disadvantage for jobs, according to Ruth Kavanagh, a labor marker consultant for the Economic Development Department.

On a more positive note, 74 percent of students said their school is headed in the right direction.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocalTransittransportation

Just Posted

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A Giants fans hangs his head in disbelief after the Dodgers won the NLDS in a controversial finish to a tight Game 5. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Giants dream season ends at the hands of the Dodgers, 2-1

A masterful game comes down to the bottom of the ninth, and San Francisco came up short

<strong>Workers with Urban Alchemy and the Downtown Streets Team clean at Seventh and Market streets on Oct. 12. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins> </strong>
<ins></ins>
Why is it so hard to keep San Francisco’s streets clean?

Some blame bureaucracy, others say it’s the residents’ fault

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — seen in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday — touted Congressional Democrats’ infrastructure bill in San Francisco on Thursday. (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times)
Pelosi touts infrastructure bill as it nears finish line

Climate change, social safety net among major priorities of Democrats’ 10-year funding measure

Most Read