MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Taking a train, or riding a bus — for many, it’s time to relax.

But it can also turn into the tensest of situations, like the attack on a bus driver that happened back in April, and another one two days later.

Harry Maddox is a regular on the this route and he’s helping form a rider’s union.

“They have to deal with per se people getting mad, cussing them out,” Maddox said. “One of our top issues is policing and safety of passengers and bus drivers alike.”

It was also a top issue for Tuesday’s afternoon meeting called by lawmakers.

“We want to highlight the issue,” said House Transportation Committee Finance Chair Rep. Paul Torkelson (R-Hanska). “We want to bring attention, we want to make sure that myself and my colleagues on the transportation committee understand what these statistics look like and we can put pressure on met council to do a better job and see what we can do to make improvements. This is a real concern.”

Metro Transit police reported three rapes, 92 robberies, 55 assaults and 272 thefts through July of this year. But Metro Transit Police Chief John Harrington says the numbers need context.

“In comparison to our respective cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul, we are hundreds of times safer in terms of the frequency of offenses happening on transit,” Harrington said.

Different perspectives, but they’re all on board for safety.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield