The DC Metro’s Falling Crime Numbers Aren’t Quite As Impressive As They Seem

The Washington, D.C., metro area’s beleaguered open movement complement (known as WMATA) trumpeted good news this week: “Crime on Metro in 2017 plunged to a lowest turn in a some-more than decade,” settled a press release. “Last year, there were a sum of 1,282 Part we crimes on Metro, a 19 percent rebate from 2016 … Declines were reported in each difficulty of crime.”

Unambiguously good news, to be sure: Nobody wants to be a plant of crime. And crimes committed on open transit, an essential open good (and one used disproportionately by people of some-more singular means), are utterly loathsome.

Yet, flicker a little, and a numbers aren’t utterly as considerable as they seem.

The large tell is that WMATA expelled sum numbers of crimes, rather than crime rates. And a rebate in sum series of crimes has come during a time of plummeting ridership. Fewer riders, fewer crimes.

Indeed, in 2017, normal weekday rail ridership was 612,000—matching numbers final seen in 2001. In 2009, a year of rise ridership, normal weekday rail ridership stood during 750,000, and newcomer numbers have declined year over year given then.

Bus ridership, meanwhile, in 2017 fell 8 percent over 2016. That came on tip of a 6 percent decrease a previous year. In total, WMATA ridership is off roughly 20 percent from a peak—even as a segment has grown in population.

In other words, a tumble in a sum series of crimes has coincided with a tumble in ridership. (Perhaps criminals themselves have satisfied how emasculate a complement has become, and have opted for other modes of ride and assault.) It’s also value indicating out that a tumble in crime has occurred as WMATA has exceedingly reduced night service—a utterly crime-ridden time of a day.

It does seem that a crime tumble has somewhat outpaced a ridership fall—a good thing indeed. But in a seductiveness of full disclosure, WMATA should substantially news crime rates along with sum crime numbers.

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