As of Monday, October 2, Tri Delta Transit is offering ‘Tri Delta Watch,’ a mobile security app that instantly allows riders to notify police or dispatchers of security incidents on buses and at bus stops. The free app allows riders to anonymously send text reports with pictures or videos to dispatchers who can respond to or address the problem. Contacting local police directly is an option of the app, which is made simple via a one-click 911 button for more serious situations.
The free security application is available at the Apple App Store and Google Play for iPhone and Android devices; search Tri Delta Watch. Once downloaded, riders can report suspicious activity, and incidents that might require law enforcement’s presence on board Tri Delta Transit buses.
“Occurrences that might merit the use of the app are extremely rare on our buses,” said Mike Furnary, Director of Marketing. “Having the app is just another means to help us keep it that way.”
Tri Delta Watch and similar security apps are important new components in the industry’s effort to enhance safety for customers and drivers. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security adopted the “If You See Something, Say Something” public awareness campaign in 2010. Transit agencies, including Tri Delta Transit, have launched a variety of advertising and outreach efforts to educate riders about the importance of being vigilant in reporting suspicious, illegal or inappropriate behavior and activities, as well as unattended packages.
The smartphone app allows customers to assist security efforts by reporting suspicious activity in a timely manner. When a rider sees a suspicious situation, with the click of a button, they can directly call police or discretely submit a report with photos or video, incident descriptions, and GPS coordinates to transit officials. If the user chooses to submit a picture or video, the camera flash is automatically disabled to not draw attention to the rider.
The mobile app allows riders to report incidents such as suspicious activity, disruptive behavior, crime in progress, and security or safety issues. Riders may also report immediately threatening situations such as fighting, or attacks on drivers.
Once a report is initiated, real-time two-way communication is enabled. Dispatchers may ask the rider for more details about the situation or provide instructions, as needed. In the event of an active incident, the dispatcher and reporter are able to communicate concerning details about those involved, what bus they are on, and assessment of the suspect’s behavior. The dispatcher can advise and communicate with the customer or contact the appropriate person or agency for assistance if necessary.
“Safety and security begins with all of us,” said Furnary. “If you see something, say something.”
Tri Delta Transit provides over 3,000,000 trips each year to a population of over 250,000 residents in the 225 square miles of Eastern Contra Costa County. They operate 13 local bus routes Monday – Friday, 4 local bus routes on weekends, door-to-door bus service for senior citizens and people with disabilities, and shuttle services to community events. For additional information about Tri Delta Transit, please visit www.trideltatransit.com.