PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL
SALVADOR
BACKGROUND PAPER 1:
Systematic Observation of Public Transport in San Sal...
PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR
PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL
SALVADOR
BACKGROUND PAPER 1:
Systematic Observation of Public Transport in San
Sal...
PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR
CONTENT
1. INTRODUCTION......................................................................................................
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PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR
1. INTRODUCTION
In El Salvador, public transport refers to the service ...
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The second section contains background information on the public transp...
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In addition, transport services are classified into categories known as...
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3. OBJECTIVES
The systematic observation aimed at examining the environ...
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PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR
Table 1: Routes under Observation
Type of Transport Unit, Type of Servi...
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An observation guide was designed (see Appendix 1) and 8 observers were...
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 Whether persons with the appearance of gang members asked for money f...
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b) Type of boarding point
Twenty-seven observations initiated on a loca...
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d) Day of the week
Eighteen observations, equivalent to 15%, were perfo...
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the security of bus and microbus users (19.3%). Such properties were c...
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Figure 6: Social and Physical Incivilities on Boarding Points
A Chi-Sq...
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Figure 7: Average Number of Persons Waiting for a Bus or Microbus on B...
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Figure 8: Presence of Police and Security near Bus Stops
Police presen...
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Figure 10: Sex Composition of Persons on Bus Stops
With the exception ...
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Figure 12: Assessed Age Composition of Persons on Bus Stops
Children, ...
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Figure 13: Occupancy when Arriving at Bus Stops by Type of Unit
The nu...
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Incidents of any type may happen at the moment a passenger pays for th...
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The fact that buses and microbuses make a relatively large number of i...
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c) Crime incidents
The passengers of 3.3% of the observed routes did e...
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The quality of the bus or microbus tires was assessed as bad or very b...
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The infrastructure to provide comfort and shelter to users while they ...
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7. REFERENCES
Asamblea Legislativa de El Salvador. (2011). Ley de Tran...
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Appendix 1: Systematic observation guide
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PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR BACKGROUND PAPER 1
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PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR BACKGROUND PAPER 1

In El Salvador, public transport refers to the service provided through a State concession by: a) Institutional or private buses providing passengers with collective transport services; (b) microbuses of the public service; (c) other types of vehicles that meet the requirements for the provision of this service, as described in the respective regulations (Ley de Trasporte Terrestre, Tránsito y Seguridad Vial, Art. 27). For purposes of this paper, public transport includes buses and microbuses providing passenger transport services.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Published in: Data & Analytics      
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Transcripts - PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR BACKGROUND PAPER 1

  • 1. PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR BACKGROUND PAPER 1: Systematic Observation of Public Transport in San Salvador and Adjacent Metropolitan Areas
  • 2. PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR
  • 3. PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR BACKGROUND PAPER 1: Systematic Observation of Public Transport in San Salvador and Adjacent Metropolitan Areas June 2015 SolucionES Project Cooperation Agreement No. AID-519-A-12-00003 Document prepared by: Dr. Carlos Carcach (ESEN) DISCLAIMER This publication was possible thanks to the support of the people of the United States of America through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The views and opinions expressed in this document are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of USAID or the Government of the United States. This study had the support of Escuela Superior de Economía y Negocios, ESEN.
  • 4. PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR
  • 5. CONTENT 1. INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................................... 1 2. BACKGROUND TO THE PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM...................................................................... 2 3. OBJECTIVES..................................................................................................................................... 4 4. METHODOLOGY.............................................................................................................................. 4 4.1 Routes under observation......................................................................................................... 4 4.2 Observation processes.............................................................................................................. 5 4.3 Collected data ........................................................................................................................... 6 4.4 DATA DESCRIPTION................................................................................................................... 7 5. MAIN FINDINGS............................................................................................................................... 9 6. CONCLUSIONS ............................................................................................................................... 20 7. REFERENCES .................................................................................................................................. 22 Appendix 1: Systematic observation guide....................................................................................... 23
  • 6. 1 PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR 1. INTRODUCTION In El Salvador, public transport refers to the service provided through a State concession by: a) Institutional or private buses providing passengers with collective transport services; (b) microbuses of the public service; (c) other types of vehicles that meet the requirements for the provision of this service, as described in the respective regulations (Ley de Trasporte Terrestre, Tránsito y Seguridad Vial, Art. 27). For purposes of this paper, public transport includes buses and microbuses providing passenger transport services. The public transport is a setting for different types of crimes which can be committed within buses and microbuses, in the places designated as bus stops, and in related environments such as terminals. The targets of these crimes can be the transport providers themselves (as in the cases of fare evasion, vandalism, theft of parts or fuel, extortion, killings and other forms of violence against the owners and employees, etc.) or its users (as in cases of theft, robbery, physical assault, sexual, etc.) (Clarke & Smith2000). This paper considers crimes and antisocial behaviors committed on the users of the system of public transportation operated by buses and microbuses. Data from various sources indicate that a significant number of offences occur within the public transportation system environments or in environments related to public transport. Data from a victimization survey indicate that in 2012, thirty-four percent of total personal victimizations took place within a public transport unit or at a bus stop (ESEN, 2013). According to the same source, and always during the year 2012, in 70% of these incidents the perpetrators stole something that belonged to the victims. The monetary value of the stolen goods amounted to $25.3 million, equivalent to an average loss of $127.00 per incident. This loss represents 57% of the current minimum wage for the commerce and services sectors. The average number of incidents in the public transport system was 4.1 per each victim leading to estimate at $516.23 annual monetary loss infringed on every victim of robbery or theft on the public transport. Very few victims reported incidents of public transport crime to the authorities. In 2012, 17% of the victims reported an incident to the police (ESEN, 2013). Little is known about the factors affecting crime against public transport users in El Salvador. As in most developing countries, official crime statistics are almost inexistent or they are difficult to obtain. This situation is more critical in the case of the public transport system. Research on issues relating to public transport crime is inexistent. This paper addresses the environmental settings of the public transport system that might generate conditions for the occurrence of crimes against users or to affect the fear of crime and perceptions of safety among the users of the system. Its main objective is to support the identification of crime prevention initiatives, both feasible and effective, as part of a broader research project on the general topic of public transport crime. The paper discusses the main findings of a systematic observation of 122 routes or segments of route in San Salvador, the capital city of El Salvador, and neighboring metropolitan municipalities.
  • 7. PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR 2 The second section contains background information on the public transport system in El Salvador and defines key concepts. Section 3 outlines the objectives of the study. Section 4 describes the methodology of the systematic observation of bus and microbus routes. Section 5 describes the data used as part of the study. Section 6 describes and discusses the major findings on the environmental conditions surrounding bus stops, and the internal environment of buses and microbuses. Section 7 contains the conclusions. 2. BACKGROUND TO THE PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM For the purposes of this paper, the term route denotes a specific public transport network that has been approved by the Vice-Ministry of Transport for the commuting of passengers between an origin (i.e. terminal or “punto”) and a destination (i.e. terminal or “meta”) through a designed sequence of bus stops and interchanges. Routes are identified with numerical or mixed numerical-character codes, and may be covered with different types of transport units according to their capacity: (1) Buses (40 or more seats), (2) microbuses (up to 25 seats), (3) minibuses or vans (up to 12 seats), and (4) pickups (usually these units have no traditional seats). This study focus on the environmental conditions associated to routes covered with buses and microbuses. Users of microbuses pay a higher fare than those of buses. The route codes, usually referred to as route numbers, identify the type of transport service for which a concessionary has been granted a permit to operate. The rapid urban growth that has taken place in El Salvador over the last 20 years or so has made the assignment by the transport authorities of route codes more difficult. The routes are classified in four groups according to the type of transport service they offer:  Urban: Both origin and destination are located within the borders of the same city or town. The numbers for these routes can be any number between 1 and 99.  Inter-urban: Their origin and destination are located in different cities or towns usually within a same metropolitan area or province. The numbers for these routes can be any number greater than 99.  Inter-departmental: These routes join cities located in different provinces or departments. The numbers for these routes can be any number greater than 99.  Intra-departmental: These routes join nonurban or minor urban places located within a same province. The numbers for these routes are formed by a number followed by a two- letter identifier for the province. For instance, the route 1-LL operates within the province of La Libertad.
  • 8. 3 PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR In addition, transport services are classified into categories known as classes. The service classes differ in the number of stops allowed, the time needed to complete the journey, and their pricing. There are 4 classes of bus services:  Ordinary: The units that operate services within this class allow passengers to step in and out the bus or microbus on all the stops located along a route. It should be noted that with a few exceptions there are no officially designated locations for bus and/or microbus stops. According to current legislation, in urban sectors the stops should be located at points separated 300 meters apart from each other. In non-urban sectors the minimum distance between stops is specified at 500 meters. It is common for buses and microbuses to stop on points located at distances that are shorter than the legal minima. The transport authority specifies a few points which are designated as bus or microbus stops which correspond to landmarks in San Salvador and major cities. Ordinary services charge the lowest approved fare for a route of any of the service types. In the case of inter- departmental services mostly covered with buses, the units go through most of the cities or towns located between the origin and final destination of a route.  Direct: The units that operate services within this class allow passengers to step in and out the bus or microbus on stops located in designated towns or points along a route that belongs to either the inter-departmental or inter-urban types. The fare for direct services is more expensive than the ordinary one.  Special, select and exclusive: These classes represent upgrades of the ordinary and direct classes. They do not stop between the origin and final destination of a route. In some cases, the units are equipped with air conditioning and meals are offered for a fee along the route. These classes of services are available in inter-departmental routes. The special class is also allowed in urban and inter-urban routes. These services charge users with the most expensive fares. The legislation establishes that buses and microbuses must have signs that show in a clear manner the route number and the class of service. Such signs must be shown at the front and back of the units. Also, the types and classes of public transport services are distinguished by a color coding scheme according to which the units of urban services must be of blue color, those operating inter- departmental services must be of green color, and the units that operate special urban services must be read colored.
  • 9. PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR 4 3. OBJECTIVES The systematic observation aimed at examining the environmental factors associated with the different components of the public transport system. In particular, the observation focused upon the following aspects that might result in conditions that facilitate the commission of crimes against public transport users or make users to be fearful of crime or feeling unsafe:  The external environment surrounding the bus stops and bus terminals, and  The internal environment of buses and microbuses. 4. METHODOLOGY 4.1 Routes under observation A total of 22 routes were observed. Eighteen of the bus and microbus routes were observed during 6 time slots over five weekdays from Monday to Friday; one route was observed over 9 time slots during one day by 3 observers; and the 3 remaining routes were observed over one time slot each. This resulted in 120 observation occasions. The following time slots were defined:  7:00AM to 8:30AM  9:00AM to 10:30AM  11:00AM to 12:30AM  1:00PM to 2:30PM  3:30PM to 5:00PM  6:30PM to 8:00PM These time periods enabled observation of different kinds of users according to their routine activities and demographic characteristics. The routes were selected on the basis of information obtained from police officers1 deployed at the 911 System which is a multi-purpose emergency call service under the responsibility of the National Civilian Police (PNC) in San Salvador. The selected routes were those recording the largest numbers of emergency calls or calls for service to the 911 System. In a sense, the observed routes can be considered as “Hot Routes” or as having a great potential to be considered as “Hot Routes”2 . Table 1 lists the routes under study together with their type of service, type of unit, and day of the week and time slot during which they were observed. 1 These officers provided the information on the condition that their names were kept undisclosed. 2 There was no manner to verify that in effect, the routes indicated by the 911 System staff were true “Hot Routes”.
  • 10. 5 PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR Table 1: Routes under Observation Type of Transport Unit, Type of Service and Day of the Week and Time Slot of Observation Route Number Type of Unit Type of Service Origin Final Destination 1 Bus Urban San Salvador San Salvador 101D Bus Interdepartamental Santa Tecla San Salvador 109 Bus Interdepartamental Quezaltepeque San Salvador 13 Bus Urban Ilopango San Salvador 14 Bus Intradepartmental San Martín San Salvador 140 Microbus Intradepartmental San Martín Apopa 27 Bus Urban San Salvador San Salvador 28 Bus Urban San Salvador San Salvador 29A Bus Urban Ilopango San Salvador 29C1 Bus Urban Ilopango San Salvador 30B Bus Urban San Salvador San Salvador 34A Bus Urban San Salvador San Salvador 38B Bus Intradepartmental Apopa San Salvador 38D Microbus Intradepartmental Apopa San Salvador 38E Microbus Intradepartmental Apopa San Salvador 41A Bus Urban Soyapango San Salvador 42A Bus Interdepartamental Santa Tecla San Salvador 42C Bus Interdepartamental Santa Tecla San Salvador 44 Microbus Urban Ayutuxtepeque San Salvador 44T Bus Urban Ayutuxtepeque San Salvador 45 AB Microbus Intradepartmental Apopa San Salvador 7D Bus Urban Soyapango San Salvador 4.2 Observation processes The general process underlying a person´s experience with using the public transport was observed by focusing in the following three stages: 1. Arriving at a terminal or a bus stop with the purpose of boarding a public transport unit. 2. Boarding a bus or microbus. 3. Travelling a whole route or segment of a route within a bus or microbus.
  • 11. PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR 6 An observation guide was designed (see Appendix 1) and 8 observers were specially trained in the use of the guide and in the procedures used to collect the data. Data collectors were organized in pairs. Each of the pairs of observers was assigned specific route over a whole day. They boarded several buses or microbuses of a specific route at different points (i.e. terminal, formal bus stops and informal bus stops) on each of the specified time slots. In this way, the observers had enough time to appreciate the different aspects under study. The time slots were separated by periods of at least 30 minute each during which the 2 observers filled in a single data collection form corresponding to the bus or microbus observed during the previous time slot. At the end of each day, the completed forms were handled to a supervisor who checked them for completeness and consistency. The data were codified, entered and edited using SPSS Data Entry Builder and a clean SPSS data file was produced. 4.3 Collected data A number of aspects with a potential to generate opportunities for the commission of crimes against users or to cause fear of crime or perceptions of insecurity among users were observed. These aspects related to environmental characteristics of terminals, bus stops, buses and microbuses. For each route, the following key conditions were observed:  Kind of property that is visible from the bus stop or terminal.  Kind of social and physical incivility that is distinguishable from the bus stop or terminal.  Number of routes stopping at the point of boarding.  Existence and physical characteristics of infrastructure that is intended to serve as a bus stop or to provide shelter for passengers.  Number of persons waiting for a bus or microbus on bus stops or terminals.  Gender and age of persons waiting for a bus or microbus on bus stops or terminals.  Presence of police or private security officers in the proximities of the bus stops or terminals.  Whether any incident, criminal or otherwise, occurred to the users while waiting for a bus or microbus.  Occupancy of the bus or microbus arriving to a bus stop or terminal to collect passengers.  Number of persons boarding the bus or microbus.  Orderly or disorderly nature of the boarding process.  Whether any incident, criminal or otherwise, occurred to the users at the moment they boarded the bus or microbus.  The number and location of doors of the bus or microbus.  Place within the bus or microbus where passengers crowded.  Number of legal and illegal stops made by the bus or microbus once on the road.  Way the driver and/or the fare collector treated to the passengers.  Whether vendors or individuals persons with the appearance of gang members boarded the bus or microbus at either the bus stop, terminal or along the route.
  • 12. 7 PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR  Whether persons with the appearance of gang members asked for money from passengers or threatened to use or used actual violence against one or more passengers.  The actual location of the journey where persons with the appearance of gang members stepped in or out the bus or microbus.  Whether police officers or soldiers boarded the transport unit in the course of the journey.  Whether any incident, criminal or otherwise, occurred to the users while they were travelling in a bus or microbus.  Internal and external appearance of the bus or microbus (i.e. body, tires, the functioning of doors, windscreen, door and window glasses, internal and external cleanliness, seats, interior lightning, ring bell, presentation of the driver and the fare collector).  Kind of incivilities that are distinguishable inside the bus or microbus. 4.4 DATA DESCRIPTION Below there´s a description of the data collected through the systematic observation of public transport system in El Salvador, it includes the type of unit, boarding points, time slots and day of the week. a) Type of transport unit Ninety-five out of the 120 observations, equivalent to 79.2%, were performed in bus routes with the remaining 25 or 20.8% of observations occurred in microbus routes (Figure 1). Figure 1: Observations by Type of Public Transport Unit 79.2 20.8 0 20 40 60 80 100 Bus Microbus %Observations
  • 13. PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR 8 b) Type of boarding point Twenty-seven observations initiated on a location corresponding to the origin and/or final destination of a route (22.5%), 86 observation episodes initiated on a legally designed bus stop (71.7%), and the remaining 7 observations initiated on an unauthorized bus stop (5.8%) (Figure 2). Figure 2: Observations by Type of Boarding Point c) Time-slots Observations were distributed uniformly over 6 time-slots. Figure 3 shows that 21 or 17.5% of the total number of observations were performed in each of the following time periods: 7:00AM- 8:30AM, 9:00AM-10:30AM, 11:00AM-12:30PM and 1:00PM-2:30PM. Eighteen or 15.0% of observations occurred during each of the remaining time-slots: 3:30PM-5:30PM and 6:30PM- 8:00PM. Figure 3: Observations by Time-Slot 22.5 71.7 5.8 0 20 40 60 80 100 Origin or final destination Legal bus stop Ilegal bus stop %Observations 17.5 17.5 17.5 17.5 15.0 15.0 0 5 10 15 20 25 7:00AM - 8:30AM 9:00AM - 10:30AM 11:AM - 12:30AM 1:00PM - 2:30PM 3:30PM - 5:00PM 6:30PM - 8:00PM %Observations
  • 14. 9 PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR d) Day of the week Eighteen observations, equivalent to 15%, were performed on each of the weekdays Monday, Tuesday and Friday. Thirty observations, 25%, occurred on Wednesday and the remaining 36 took place on Thursday (30%) (Figure 4). Figure 4: Observations by Weekday 5. MAIN FINDINGS The main findings of the systematic observation refer to the general process underlying a person´s experience with using the public transport by focusing in the following three stages: a) Waiting for the bus, b) Boarding a bus, and c) Travelling in a bus. 5.1 Waiting for the bus: Bus stops a) The external environment of bus stops In general, bus or microbus terminals tend to be located in residential areas and as expected, they tend to attract different kinds of commercial activities and food outlets. Eating places and commercial premises were the most frequent kinds of urban property that were visible from the boarding points (13.2% and 13.0% of total observations). In 10.1% of observations, residential property was visible from the point of boarding. However, the kind of property that was visible from almost one out of 5 boarding points could be considered as creating opportunities for the commission of crimes or as being a potential threat to 15.0 15.0 25.0 30.0 15.0 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday %Observations
  • 15. PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR 10 the security of bus and microbus users (19.3%). Such properties were cyber-cafes, bars, pubs, hotels and motels, and casinos or other betting venues. Industrial premises, mechanical workshops or tire repairers, and vacant lots and landfills were most visible kinds of property in 19.2% of observed boarding points. Buildings or land occupied by churches or other places of worship, schools or universities, parks, sporting facilities or recreation areas were most visible from 17.1% of observed boarding points (Figure 5). Figure 5: Kind of Property Most Visible from Boarding Points Incivilities are important contributors to the fear of crime and the formation of perceptions of public safety among the users of any public transport system (Newton, 2004). Though not addressed in this paper, signs of disorder affect the security of public transport staff by increasing their risk of violence at work. Beggars were the most frequently observed kind of incivility (19.1%) followed by drunks, drug addicts, homeless and insane people (17.5%). Graffiti on walls and buildings was observed in 14.9% of boarding points. Informal commerce was identified in 14.7% of observations. The presence of individuals with appearance of gang members was seen in 10.1% of observations. Physical incivilities such as derelict houses and buildings, houses and buildings in bad conditions, and vandalism and property damage were identified in the remaining 31.6% of observations (Figure 6). 13.2 13.0 10.1 8.5 8.1 6.7 6.6 6.5 6.1 5.9 4.8 4.5 3.7 2.3 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Commercial Eating places, take away food outlets, fast food outlets,… Residential Cyber cafes Other Churches and other places of worship Industrial & warehouses Mechanical workshops, tire repairers, etc. Vacant lots and landfills Schools, colleges and universities Bars, lounges and pubs Parks, sporting facilities, recreation areas, etc. Hotels, motels and guesthouses Betting places (Casinos, venues with coin machines and bingos) % Observations
  • 16. 11 PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR Figure 6: Social and Physical Incivilities on Boarding Points A Chi-Squared test indicated that there was a significant association between the kind of property that was visible from the bus stops and the observed types of incivility (p<0.05). b) Bus stop infrastructure Both the availability of infrastructure to provide comfort and shelter to users while they wait for a bus or microbus, and its quality are important components of the design of bus stops that affect the perceptions of safety and security of the users of any public transport system. Only 31.7% of the total number of observed bus stops had such infrastructure. In 29.0% of these bus stops the observers assessed the general condition of the infrastructure as bad or very bad, in particular the floor of the sidewalk used by passengers. Also, there was no lightning in 36.7% of bus stops and in 42.1% of those that had it the condition of the lightning was assessed as bad or very bad. These results suggest that the majority of bus stops do not offer minimal conditions of safety for the users of the public transport system. This is a direct consequence of the lack of regulations on the design of bus stops. c) Crowding in bus stops On average, there were 15.9 passengers waiting for a bus or microbus on a bus stop. The average number of persons waiting for public transport on bus stops ranged from 11.3 to 24.9 depending on the time of observation (Figure 7). The largest average was observed during night hours (i.e. 6:30PM-8:00PM) followed by the period from 3:30PM to 5:00PM. These time-slots correspond to the times of the day when people commute from work to either home or a place of study. 19.1 17.5 14.9 14.7 10.1 8.7 8.0 6.9 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Beggars Drunks, drug addicts, homeless and insane people Graffiti on walls and buildings Informal commerce Individuals with appearance of gang members Derelict houses and buildings Houses and buildings in bad conditions Vandalism and property damage % Observations
  • 17. PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR 12 Figure 7: Average Number of Persons Waiting for a Bus or Microbus on Boarding Points Usually, the spaces that are used as bus stops have areas between 4 and 6 𝑚2 . During peak hours, the density of passengers might vary between 1.9 and 6.2 persons per 𝑚2 suggesting a level of crowding that is high by any standard. d) Presence of police and other security in bus stops In El Salvador, there is only one police force which according to the Salvadoran constitution is responsible for the public safety of the general population. Such a force is named National Civilian Police (PNC). The PNC assists the Attorney’s General Department (Fiscalia General de la Republica) with crime investigation and the apprehension of suspects and persons charged with the commission of crimes. Also, the PNC is responsible for the immediate apprehension of individuals following their involvement in criminal incidents. It is important to notice the fact that the PNC has no prosecution powers. The PNC has an estimated 21,000 members. The largest municipalities have police forces known as Municipal Agents Bodies (CAM) that are responsible for the security of municipal assets and for the enforcement of local regulations related to public order. The CAMs cannot apprehend criminals or become involved in the investigation of crimes but can cooperate with the PNC in public safety tasks. Finally, there are an estimated number of 30,000 guards who are employees of private security agencies that provide security services to particulars, businesses and government. The employees of the security agencies cannot apprehend criminals or become involved in the investigation of crimes. The data in Figure 8 show that private security guards were the most visible form of security near the observed bus stops (32.1%) followed by patrols or officers of the National Civilian Police (29.6%). Municipal agents were visible in 12.3% of observes bus stops. Finally, in 25.9% of the observed bus stops there was not nearby security provided by the police or otherwise. 24.9 16.9 15.6 14.4 13.5 11.3 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 6:30PM - 8:00PM 3:30PM - 5:00PM 7:00AM - 8:30AM 1:00PM - 2:30PM 11:AM - 12:30AM 9:00AM - 10:30AM % Observations
  • 18. 13 PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR Figure 8: Presence of Police and Security near Bus Stops Police presence varied by time of the day. Figure 9 indicates that either police officers or police patrols were most visible during the periods of highest crowding, 6:30PM-8:00PM (55.6% of bus stops) and 3:00PM-5:30PM (44.4% of bus stops), and during the period with the lowest average number of passengers per bus stop, 9:00AM-10:30AM (47.6% of bus stops). Figure 9: Presence of Police near Bus Stops by Time of Day e) Demographic profile of users Observers assessed the composition of the persons who were waiting to catch a bus or microbus on a bus stop in terms of gender and age. In 52.9% of observations, there was the same number of men and women on bus stops. Most passengers were women in nearly one third of observations3 . In 13.3% of observed bus stops, passengers were mostly men (Figure 10). 3 The majority of studies indicate that more women use public transport relative to men. For instance, Neff & Pham (2007) summarized the results from 125 modal surveys in the U.S. reported that 58.1% of users of roadway transportation modes were women. 32.1 29.6 25.9 12.3 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Private security guards National Civilian Police No security Municipal Agents % Observations 33.3 47.6 38.1 23.8 44.4 55.6 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 7:00AM - 8:30AM 9:00AM - 10:30AM 11:AM - 12:30AM 1:00PM - 2:30PM 3:30PM - 5:00PM 6:30PM - 8:00PM %Observations
  • 19. PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR 14 Figure 10: Sex Composition of Persons on Bus Stops With the exception of the 9:00AM-10:30AM and 1:00PM-2:30PM time slots there was a balance of men and women on bus stops. In 57.1% of observations made during the 1:00PM-2:30PM period, most passengers were women. A similar situation was observed between 9:00AM and 10:30AM when in 42.9% of bus stops most passengers were women (Figure 11). The data in Figure 11 also indicate that with exception of the night hours (6:30PM-8:00PM) when there are more bus stops where passengers are mostly men (27.8%) compared to women (22.2%), the more frequent situation was to have more women than men in bus stops. These results indicate that women tend to use more frequently the public transport than men. Figure 11: Sex Composition of Persons on Bus Stops by Time-Slot Public transport was used primarily by adults. The age distribution of users tended to concentrate in the 20-44 year old group. In early half the observed bus stops, persons were assessed as being of 20-29 years of age (23.7%) or 30-44 years of age (25.6%) (Figure 12)4 . 4 This age structure of public transport users is similar to one obtained by Neff & Pham (2007) on the basis of transit trips taken by persons in the United States. 13.3 33.8 52.9 Most are men Most are women More or less equal number of men and women 14.3 23.8 23.8 9.5 16.7 27.8 28.6 42.9 28.6 57.1 38.9 22.2 57.1 33.3 47.6 33.3 44.4 50.0 0 20 40 60 80 100 7:00AM - 8:30AM 9:00AM - 10:30AM 11:AM - 12:30AM 1:00PM - 2:30PM 3:30PM - 5:00PM 6:30PM - 8:00PM % Observations Most are men Most are women More or less equal number of men and women
  • 20. 15 PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR Figure 12: Assessed Age Composition of Persons on Bus Stops Children, either in the company of an adult or not, were identified in 15.7% of observed bus stops, and persons in ages between 15 and 19 years were observed in 16.2% of bus stops. This composition remained unchanged when examined across time-slots. f) Incidents occurring on bus stops Observers recorded whether any kind of incident, criminal or otherwise, did occur to any of the persons while waiting for a bus or microbus, or not. An incident occurred in 5.8% of observed bus stops. The most common types of incidents were verbal abuse against a passenger (60% of cases) and attempted theft from a passenger (30% of cases). An actual theft from a passenger was observed in 10% of cases. 5.2 Boarding a bus or microbus Except when departing from the terminal or point of origin of the route, the buses or microbuses already have passengers. How crowded is a bus or microbus at the moment of arriving at a bus stop may generate complications for those passengers when trying to step in a public transport unit. Figure 13 shows data on the occupancy of the unit by whether it was a bus or a microbus. This data exclude those cases where the bus or microbus was departing from the point of origin of the route. The most common situation was for both buses and microbuses already carrying passengers but with available seats at the moment of arriving at bus stops (77.0% of observations on buses and 52.6% of observations on microbuses). The second most common situation corresponded to both buses and microbuses having all seats occupied but few people standing (13.5% of observations on buses and 47.4% of observations on microbuses). These results indicate that apparently the buses or microbuses arriving at a bus stop had space available to accommodate waiting passengers. 1.0 14.7 16.2 23.7 25.6 13.3 5.6 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Children traveling alone Children accompanied by an adult Youth (15-19 years) Young adults (20-29 years) Adults (30-44 years) Older adults (45-60 years) Seniors (Over 60 years) % Observations
  • 21. PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR 16 Figure 13: Occupancy when Arriving at Bus Stops by Type of Unit The number of persons that did board the unit ranged from 1 to 20 in the case of buses and from 1 to 13 in the case of microbuses. On average, 4.9 passengers boarded a bus and 5.8 passengers step in a microbus. These averages are equivalent to 10.2% and 19.5% of the theoretical capacity of a bus and a microbus, respectively5 . Passengers pay the transit fare either to the driver or to a fare collector. Figure 14 shows that it was more frequent for passengers to pay the fare to the driver when using a bus (94.7%) than when using a microbus (40.0%). Fare collectors were a more common occurrence in microbuses than in buses. When fare collectors are present, the payment of the transit fare occurs after boarding. Figure 14: Payment of Transit Fare by Type of Unit 5 According to current legislation the average capacities are: 40 sitting passengers for buses and 25 for microbuses. In both cases, the number of standing passengers cannot exceed 20% of the number of sitting passengers. These figures result in theoretical capacities of 48 for buses and 30 for microbuses. 5.4 77.0 13.5 4.1 0.0 52.6 47.4 0.0 4.3 72.0 20.4 3.2 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 No passengers- Fully empty With passengers but there were seats available All seats occupied but few people standing All seats occupied and a lot of people standing %Observations Bus Microbus Total 94.7 40.0 5.3 60.0 0 20 40 60 80 100 Bus Microbus %Observations Paid to the driver Paid to the fare collector after boarding
  • 22. 17 PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR Incidents of any type may happen at the moment a passenger pays for the ride. This was a rare occurrence for the observed routes as only one incident out of the 120 observations was recorded. The incident in question involved a woman dropping off the change obtained from the driver on the bus step but the driver did not allow her to have enough time to pick it up. This caused an argument between the driver and the passenger. 5.3 Travelling in a bus or microbus a) Passenger location In 53.3% of observation, most passengers tended to accommodate themselves in the middle part of the bus or microbus; 31.7% did it near the exit door; and 15.0%, near the entrance (Figure 15). This pattern did not change across time slots. Figure 15: Place inside the Bus or Microbus where Most Passengers Sought Accommodation b) Bus stopping According to current legislation urban bus stops must be 500 meters apart from each other. By definition, any stop made at a distance shorter than 500 meters would be illegal. On average, a bus did stop 40.93 times to collect passengers along a route, whereas a microbus did it on 41.1 occasions. Figure 16 shows that 23.6% of the stops made by buses and 27.1% of the stops made by microbuses were illegal. Figure 16: Unauthorized bus stops as a Percentage of Total Average Bus Stops by Type of Unit 15.0 53.3 31.7 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Near the entrance In the middle Near the exit door %Observations 23.6 27.1 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Bus Microbus %Unauthorizedbus stops
  • 23. PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR 18 The fact that buses and microbuses make a relatively large number of illegal stops to either collect or drop off passengers may affect the performance of the public transport in several ways. Figure 17 shows that buses or microbuses driven at a high speeds did also recorded a larger number of illegal stops along the trip than units driven at normal or below normal speeds. In the same way, buses and microbuses where the observers assessed the treatment to passengers by the driver and/or the fare collector as bad or regular made a larger number of illegal stops than those where the treatment given to passengers was assessed as good or excellent. Figure 17: Average Number of Unauthorized bus stops by Factors The number of unauthorized bus stops seems to relate to whether vendors stepped in the bus or microbus. Transport units where vendors stepped in recorded larger numbers of illegal stops than buses and microbuses where this event did not occur. A similar pattern seems to emerge with the boarding of individuals looking like gang members or when beggars stepped in or in buses and microbuses where a crime incident or antisocial behavior took place during the journey. On the contrary, the units where a uniformed police officer or an army soldier stepped in along the trip recorded lower numbers of illegal stops than those where it did not occur. This data indicate that there may be a relationship between the number of illegal stops made by a transport unit and the presence of factors that affect the actual or perceived security of passengers. 9.7 9.6 11.4 15.0 11.7 9.6 9.7 10.3 8.9 10.3 9.9 10.1 9.9 9.1 10.1 10.5 10.0 0.0 2.0 4.0 6.0 8.0 10.0 12.0 14.0 16.0 Speed at which the driver drove the unit Below normal Normal (50 KPH) Above Normal Treatment to passengers by driver and/or fare collector Bad Regular Good Excelent Vendors stepped in the unit Yes No People with appearance of gang members stepped in the… Yes No Beggars boarded the unit Yes No PNC officers or soldiers went up into the unit Yes No Any incident occurred to any person during the journey Yes No % Observations
  • 24. 19 PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR c) Crime incidents The passengers of 3.3% of the observed routes did experience a criminal or antisocial incident while traveling on a transport unit. In half of these incidents something was stolen from a passenger. In one quarter of incidents someone attempted to steal something from a passenger. In the remaining quarter, a passenger was verbally abused. d) Bus and microbus appearance The observers assessed various aspects related to the internal and external appearance of the buses and microbuses. Figure 18 shows the percentage of observations with an assessment of bad or very bad for several aspects. Figure 18: External and Internal Attributes of Buses and Microbuses Percentage of Assessments of Bad or Very Bad The condition of the ring bell was assessed as the worse quality attribute of the transport units. Ring bells are essential to enable passengers to announce the driver their intention to step down in the next bus stop. Only 44.5% of the observed buses and microbuses had a ring bell. Transport units not having this feature were assessed as very bad. The comfort of passengers standing up during the ride was the second worst rated attribute. In 26.7% of observations this aspect was assessed as bad or very bad. This situation is slightly worse for microbuses due to the height of the units and the available space between seat rows. Upholstery and the comfort of the seats were assessed as bad or very bad in 13.3% and 10.8% of observations, respectively. This is a situation that can get even worse with the crowding of transport units. 61.7 26.7 13.3 10.8 7.5 7.5 5.8 4.2 4.2 2.5 1.7 0.0 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 Ring bell Comfort for standing passengers Upholstery Seat comfort Tires Interior cleanliness Front and back windscreen Body of the unit Functioning of doors Driver appearance Interior lights Fare collector appearance % Observations
  • 25. PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR 20 The quality of the bus or microbus tires was assessed as bad or very bad in 7.5% of observations. This is an aspect of foremost importance for the safety of passengers as tires in bad shape may be the cause of traffic fatalities, especially with slippery roads. Other aspects assessed as bad or very bad were the interior cleanliness (7.5%), the front and back windscreens (5.8%), the bus body (4.5%), the functioning of doors (4.5%), driver appearance (2.7%) and interior lights (1.7%). e) Incivilities Graffiti on bus o microbus interior walls was the most commonly observed form of incivility being observed (65.8% of rides). Seats in bad condition (55.8%), polarized windscreen and window glasses (40.8%), windows in bad condition (32.5%) and interior advertisement affecting visibility were other forms of physical incivility that were observed. The presence of beggars inside the units (45.8%) was the most frequently observed form of social incivility followed by loud music inside the unit (43.3%). The presence of individuals with the appearance of gang members was observed in 15.0% of trips (Figure 19). Figure 19: Incivilities inside Buses and Microbuses 6. CONCLUSIONS This paper has addressed the two settings contained by the Salvadoran public transport system, namely bus stops and modes of transport in San Salvador and neighboring municipalities. The purpose was to examine the external and internal environments of the transport units. In general, bus stops are located in residential areas, commercial areas and in places characterized by intense pedestrian activity. Irrespective of their location, the bus stops and the places around them are characterized by the presence of social incivilities (such as beggars, drunk and vagrant people), graffiti on walls and buildings, and informal commerce. 65.8 55.8 45.8 43.3 40.8 32.5 23.3 15.0 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 Graffiti on bus-microbus walls Seats in bad condition Beggars inside the unit Loud music Polarized windscreens and window glasses Windows in bad condition Interior advertisement affectingvisibility Individuals with appearance of gang members inside… % Observations
  • 26. 21 PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR The infrastructure to provide comfort and shelter to users while they wait for a bus or microbus is either inexistent or it has a deficient quality. Only one third of the observed bus stops had such infrastructure. Where it existed, the general condition of the bus stops was deficient, in particular the floor of the sidewalk used by passengers and the quality of the lightning. A high level of crowding was a common occurrence in bus stops. The public transport is a space where large numbers of social interactions take place much of them involving strangers. Crowded bus stops may be the places for incidents where passengers may push each other out of the way without of care or aggressively, or conflicts of diverse nature, and provide anonymity to motivated offenders. Crowding is a source of insecurity for women who are the largest group of users of the public transport system. Police visibility in and around bus stops is not sufficient. In almost half of bus stops there was no presence of police officers or police patrols which facilitate the occurrence of crimes in bus stops. One in 20 bus stops recorded a crime incident or some form of antisocial behavior. The internal environment of buses and microbuses is characterized by a number of weaknesses. Almost two out of 3 buses or microbuses are not equipped with a ring bell a feature that is essential for passengers to announce their intention to leave the unit or to alert the driver in case of emergencies. The playing of loud music by bus drivers, graffiti in the internal walls of the units, polarized windscreen and window glasses, interior advertisement that impairs visibility were the most common forms of incivility taking place in the public transport system. The excessive number of unauthorized stops is a common occurrence along bus and microbus routes. Buses or microbuses stopping frequently in unauthorized places tend to be driven at higher than normal speeds, to have drivers or fare collectors that treat passengers badly, to have vendors and individuals with an appearance of gang members stepping in along the route, and to host crime or antisocial incidents. All of these problems affect the security of passengers and create conditions for the occurrence of crimes inside the transport units. Verbal abuse, stealing and robbery are the most common types of crimes against the person occurring inside buses and microbuses. In general, bus stops are located in residential areas, commercial areas and in places characterized by intense pedestrian activity. Irrespective of their location, the bus stops and the places around them are characterized by the presence of social incivilities (such as beggars, drunk and vagrant people), graffiti on walls and buildings, and informal commerce.
  • 27. PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR 22 7. REFERENCES Asamblea Legislativa de El Salvador. (2011). Ley de Transporte Terrestre, Tránsito y Seguridad Vial. San Salvador. Clarke, R. V., & Smith, M. J. (2000). Crime and Public Transport. In M. Tonry (ed.), Crime and Justice: A Review of Research, Vol. 27, p. 169-233. Escuela Superior de Economía y Negocios (ESEN). (2013). Encuesta de Victimización en El Salvador 2012. San Salvador: Centro de Políticas Públicas. Neff, J. & L. Pham, 2007, A Profile of Public Transportation Passenger Demographics and Travel Characteristics Reported in On-Board Surveys, Washington DC: American Public Transportation Association. Accessed 10/24/2014 from http://www.apta.com/resources/statistics/Documents/transit_passenger_characteristics_text_5_ 29_2007.pdf Newton, A.D., 2004, Crime on Public Transport: ‘Static’ and ‘Non-Static’ (Moving) Crime Events, Western Criminology Review, Vol. 5, No. 3, p. 25-42.
  • 28. 23 PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR Appendix 1: Systematic observation guide
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