While the metro is both a cost-efficient and easily accessible way of transportation to visit places, is it safe for college students?

Students who don’t own a car find it difficult to transport around the greater Los Angeles area or even just to a certain part of town, so some students take the metro. The tickets are less than two dollars, and planning out a simple way to get to their final destination is easier than ever.

I grew up in a country with a well-developed metro system, which made it easy for me to travel anywhere. When I first arrived in California, I asked fellow students if I could take the metro to the beach. However, they warned me that the metro was unsafe due to the lack of security and highly recommended accompanying others when traveling.

I wondered how dangerous it was, so I asked several APU students about their perspective of the metro, whether it’s a safe way of transportation or too risky and not worth it.

Kailee Kobayashi, a freshman social work major, said, “I don’t think the metros are all that safe. I remember the last time a friend and I rode the metro, there was barely any security, if none at all, at the gates or around the metro. People were sleeping on the seats, on some substance or were running about the metro. It feels very unsafe, especially if one has to travel late for work or events off campus and has no other means of transport. I think there needs to be better renovations and safety precautions before allowing people on it and throughout the ride!”

Kobayashi proposes that there are better ways of transportation than the metro, as she had a harrowing experience while taking the metro.

Dulce Beltran, a freshman social work major, said, “I would advise that students who want to travel in the metro should never be [alone] or take it at night.” She suggests people “go with company during the day for safety.”

Furthermore, Beltran says, “Although the metro is an ideal transportation to travel around places, if you don’t own a car, taking the metro doesn’t feel safe. I had a friend who went to the metro; her experience wasn’t pleasant. She encountered an old, perverted man staring at her throughout the ride.”

Here’s another perspective from Shin Ryu, who also agrees that it is dangerous but wants to deliver his tips and guidance on traveling safely within the metro.

Ryu, a sophomore majoring in accounting, said, “I have been using the metro to go to church for the past six months. When I first started using the metro, I was worried about encountering homeless individuals due to safety concerns. In Korea, it was rare to meet homeless people, so I was concerned about this,” he explained. 

 “Once, I was provoked in the metro and encountered multiple people smoking and using drugs. A tip to ride safely is to choose a car with many people because you will be less likely to encounter bad things in such a place. Also, the homeless, rather than harassing the riders, mind their own business and sleep, but that may not be an exception for everyone.” 

Ryu explained that taking the metro is optional for those who own cars but for those who rely on it because they have no other option. He wanted to share the tips with anyone considering taking the metro; also, by following the tips, he claimed that riding the metro wouldn’t be as dangerous as you may think.