The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office launched a free shuttle this week to transport employees between their cars and their workplace in downtown Los Angeles.
A spokesperson said that safety was just one factor behind the creation of the program.
The free service, launched Monday, picks up and drops off passengers at the Hall of Justice near the Civic Center to connect employees to Union Station and parking lots in Chinatown.
Sworn personnel with the Bureau of Investigation oversee the service from 6:20 to 8:20 a.m. and again from 4 to 6 p.m. during the workweek.
“The program was created in response to numerous factors, safety being just one of them,” said Tiffiny Blacknell, director of communications at the district attorney’s office. She did say, however, that “employees often work long hours and then are forced to walk long distances to their vehicles in the evening when it’s dark out.”
With sunset these days at 7 p.m., however, the 4-6 p.m. evening shuttle won’t save staffers a walk in the dark.
Blacknell also cited a lack of ample parking at the office’s downtown location, and said employees often had to take public transportation or pay high fees to park in private lots throughout the downtown area.
“This often results in additional commute time and cost for those who are assigned to that location,” Blacknell said.
The program’s creation comes on the heels of reports that Angelenos are avoiding public transportation in the region because of rampant drug use and violence.
The Times recently reported on the rise in crime on Metro buses and trains. Since January, 22 people have died on those modes of transit, mostly from suspected overdoses — more than in all of 2022.
In response to the concerns, transit officials committed $122 million over the last year to try to make Metro’s system — composed of 105 rail stations and more than 12,000 bus stops — safer.
Nearly 300 unarmed “ambassadors,” workers tasked with reporting crimes and helping passengers navigate the system, have also been hired to assist with the “multilayered” approach to reducing crime.
Meanwhile, Blacknell praised the district attorney’s office’s new method of getting people safely inside their cars.
“I’ve worked downtown for the majority of my 20-year career,” she said. “I wish they had this service when I was a deputy public defender.”