by Jameson Auten, Caitlin Vargas, and William J. Bradley
Opportunity boards with each opening of an LTD bus door. The opportunity to connect with our community; to engage in meaningful work; to access healthy foods and needed services; to maintain the pristine environment that we so enjoy. With this opportunity there exists an expectation for civility that is borne out by all on aboard in mutual kindness, consideration, and respect. When that unspoken agreement between community members is broken opportunity erodes. Now is the time to preserve and protect opportunity in an intentional way.
On Saturday morning, Nov. 19, 2022, a passenger was assaulted while using LTD services resulting in a senseless loss of life; families in pain; and communal shock and despair. Our hearts and thoughts are with the family and those that witnessed this detestable act. We are heartened that the bus operator and other passengers attempted to intervene and called for assistance. We are thankful for the bravery and grateful for the swift response to their call for help by Eugene police officers, University of Oregon police officers, LTD’s transit officers and supervisors, and for the Eugene-Springfield Fire Department’s paramedics who responded with care and compassion. However, this type of behavior and tragic outcome has no place on our buses, off our buses, or anywhere in our community.
Saturday’s violence on our bus is shocking, sickening, and maddening. While we evaluate all aspects of this incident internally, we also must fully recognize and acknowledge that this horrific incident is a symptom of a larger community issue that impacts all walks of life – not just our bus service. LTD will work with our union leadership, community partners, and governmental agencies to continue to provide safe service to you by understanding how LTD can identify and proactively address issues that are within our control, implement strategies that protect and support our employees and customers, and develop synergies with community partners to assist in addressing areas not fully in our control.
Violence has no place on LTD buses or anywhere else in our community. LTD will neither tolerate violence nor abuse toward our customers and LTD employees. LTD’s mission is to connect our community. We will not allow this act of violence to deter us from providing the service our community expects and has come to rely on us to deliver. And we will do that while keeping our community, customers, and employees safe.
Jameson T. Auten is LTD’s Chief Executive Officer; Caitlin Vargas is the Board President; and William J. Bradley is the ATU 757 Executive Board Officer.