Yesterday at noon, there were seven extra “redshirt” MTS security guards at the SDSU Transit Center, who were there to monitor every entrance to the underground transit stop in addition to the usual MTS security team stationed there. All four entrances had 1 to 3 security guards making sure each passenger had a pass before walking through one of the recently erected turnstiles. The bulked-up security team will be there for the remainder of the week during the Green Line’s operating hours.
MTS Director of Marketing and Communications Robb Sch- upp said the turnstiles and extra security set up camp for one week near the beginning of every semester. According to Schupp, the primary reason behind this is to accurately measure how many people pass through the SDSU trolley station on a given week. It’s also to ensure everyone rid- ing has paid to do so. The secu- rity spike has no connection to last week’s bomb threat.
“This is really the only way to get an accurate number, which is our main goal,” Schupp said regarding the use of turnstiles to measure passengers. “All our funding is based on ridership. We’re dependent on people buy- ing passes, so we’re also ensur- ing people do so.”
While monitoring illegal activ- ity at the trolley station is only an ulterior motive for MTS, its strategy parallels the SDSU Police Department’s practice of increased patrolling around “typical problem areas” during the first few months of each se- mester.“We do typically staff special detail the first few weeks of school, to focus on typical problem areas such as weekend nights,” SDSU PD Police Capt. Lamine Secka said.
He added this usually starts around the fifth week of school each semester, coinciding with a sharp rise in illegal activity at each semester’s beginning.
“Once school starts, we see a spike in pretty much everything,” Secka said.