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Metro Transit police chief to discuss homeless seeking shelter on trains, buses

October 3, 2018

The issue of homeless people using mass transit as temporary shelter is expected to be discussed at Wednesday afternoons Metropolitan Council meeting.

Metro Transit Police Chief John Harrington will address the regional planning body about his departments efforts to handle the seasonal surge of homeless people on light-rail trains and buses.

On average, 193 homeless people have used transit for shelter in recent years, according to Metro Transit estimates. That figure increases during the height of winter to 362 people nightly.

In the past, transit police have partnered with local social service organizations to help homeless passengers find shelter.

Sleeping on trains and buses is not illegal, and police have said the vast majority of those who do so pay their fares.

Harrington addressed a state legislative committee last week about the homeless issue and crime aboard Metro Transit trains and buses. He said the problem raises concerns about the safety of passengers, bus and train operators and homeless riders.

The 4 p.m. meeting of the Met Council will be held at 390 Robert St. N. in St. Paul.

Janet Moore 612-673-7752

@MooreStrib

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