National Academies Press: OpenBook

Policing and Public Transportation (2022)

Chapter:TCRP LRD 58: Policing and Public Transportation

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Suggested Citation:"TCRP LRD 58: Policing and Public Transportation." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Policing and Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26652.

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JULY 2022 TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM TCRP LRD58 Background e nation’s 6,800 plus public transportation agen- cies need to have access to a program that can provide authoritatively researched, specic studies of legal issues and problems having national signicance and application to the public transportation industry. Some legal issues and problems are unique to transit agencies. For example, compliance with transit-equipment and operations guide- lines, FTA nancing initiatives, private-sector programs, and labor or environmental standards relating to transit operations. Also, much of the information that is needed by public transit attorneys to address legal concerns is not summarized in a single source. Consequently, it would be helpful to the transit lawyer to have well-resourced and well-documented reports on specic legal topics available to the public transportation legal community. e Legal Research Digest (LRDs) are developed to assist public transit attorneys in dealing with initiatives and problems associated with transit start-up and opera- tions, as well as with day-to-day legal works. e LRDs address such issues as eminent domain, civil rights, constitutional rights, contracting, environmental con- cerns, labor, procurement, risk management, security, tort liability, and zoning. e transit legal research, when conducted through the TRB’s legal studies process, either collects primary data that generally are not available else- where or performs analysis of existing literature. Foreword Public transportation agencies strive to oer accessible, clean, courteous, and safe service for their customers. Agencies police their stations and other facilities to enforce applicable laws, and the agencies’ rules and codes of conduct, that prohibit, inter alia, threats to the safety of passengers and others, trespassing, and vandalism. Some public transportation agencies have a dedicated police force, but many rely on a municipal or other local police force for law enforcement. When a public transportation agency operates in more than one jurisdiction, its policing may require the coordination of multiple police forces. A public transportation agency’s policing must comport with constitutional require- ments, and with other applicable laws, that govern how an agency’s police force must conduct searches, gather evidence, or make arrests. is digest is a comprehensive analysis of constitu- tional issues that apply to the policing of public trans- portation systems. It discusses organizational structures and contracts to provide eective policing of premises and vehicles; addresses legal issues that may confront public transportation agencies, such as fare evasion or the use or occupancy of stations by people experiencing homelessness; and analyzes how public transportation agencies use public relations as part of their community outreach to improve their policing. By summarizing current laws and practices that apply to policing by public transportation agencies, the digest is a resource and a guide for lawmakers, public transportation agencies, police forces, and attor- neys. Transportation administrators, law enforcement administrators and ocers, transportation attorneys, transportation consultants, and public relations ocers should nd the digest informative and benecial. Policing and Public Transportation This report was prepared under TCRP Project J-5, “Legal Aspects of Transit and Intermodal Transportation Programs,” for which the Transportation Research Board is the agency coordinating the research. The report was prepared under Topic 20-03 by Larry W. Thomas, The Thomas Law Firm, Washington, DC. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this digest are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; or the program sponsors. The responsible program officer is Gwen Chisholm Smith. LEGAL RESEARCH DIGEST

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Compliance with transit-equipment and operations guidelines, FTA financing initiatives, private-sector programs, and labor or environmental standards relating to transit operations are some of the legal issues and problems unique to transit agencies.

The TRB Transit Cooperative Research Program's TCRP Legal Research Digest 58: Policing and Public Transportation provides a comprehensive analysis of constitutional issues and summarizes current laws and practices that apply to policing by public transportation agencies.

Supplemental to the Digest is Appendix A: Agreements, Policies, Reports, and Other Documents Provided by Public Transportation Authorities for the Report.

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