DA office launches free shuttle for staff members, says it saves them a walk in the dark

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office launched a free shuttle this week to transport employees between their cars and their workplaces in downtown Los Angeles.

A spokesperson said security was only one factor behind the program’s creation.

The free service, launched Monday, picks up and drops off passengers at the Hall of Justice near the Civic Center to connect employees to Union Station and Chinatown parking lots.

Sworn Bureau of Investigation staff oversee the service from 6:20 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. and again from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. during the work week.

“The program was created in response to many factors, safety being just one of them,” said Tiffiny Blacknell, communications director for the district attorney’s office. She said, however, that “employees often work long hours and then have to walk long distances to their vehicles in the evening when it gets dark.”

With sunset these days at 7 p.m., however, the 4-6 p.m. evening commute won’t spare employees a walk in the dark.

Blacknell also cited the office’s lack of parking spaces downtown and said employees often had to take public transit or pay high fees to park in private lots throughout downtown.

“That often results in additional travel time and cost for those assigned to that location,” Blacknell said.

The program’s creation follows reports that Angelenos are avoiding public transportation in the area due to rampant drug use and violence.

The Times recently reported on the increase in crime on buses and subway trains. Since January, 22 people have died in these modes of transport, mostly from suspected overdoses – more than for all of 2022.

In response to concerns, transit officials have committed $122 million over the past year to try to make Metro’s system – made up of 105 train stations and more than 12,000 bus stops – safer.

Nearly 300 “ambassadors”, unarmed workers tasked with reporting crimes and helping passengers navigate the system, have also been hired to help with the “tiered” approach to crime reduction.

Meanwhile, Blacknell praised the district attorney’s office’s new method of getting people safely inside their cars.

“I’ve worked downtown for most of my 20-year career,” she says. “I wish they had this service when I was an assistant public defender.”

Los Angeles Times

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