A Tale of Two Subways
Sunday’s Post-Dispatch featured an article reporting that Metro, with the aid of its newly contracted security firm The Wackenhut Corp., will be increasing security on St. Louis’ MetroLink light-rail system. The expanded security force will not just be manpower-based, though, because Wackenhut plans to arm 80 percent of its security personnel in order to better protect the recent influx of riders the Highway 40 shutdown has brought to the 37-station system.
Although MetroLink has had a better security record than other similar transit systems around the country, trains do pass through areas where crime has been a problem, and a number of incidents have been reported since the line expanded in 2006. Metro’s response to the security concerns of citizens could be seen as a reaction to the crime concerns that were first mentioned by Randal O’Toole (and then were later grossly overexamined by members of the news media).
Without a doubt, a larger and better-armed security force will make riders feel safer, but will this feeling of security be worth $13.1 million in taxpayer money?
On a lighter note, the New York Times has a fun piece up on the unexpectedly correct use of the semicolon in recent subway advertisements. The grammarian in me couldn’t help but share and silently wish that I had a mastery of that most elusive part of punctuation.