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Prosecutor’s office launches free shuttle for staff, says it’s saving them a walk in the dark

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office launched a free shuttle service this week to shuttle employees between their cars and their workplace in downtown Los Angeles.

A spokesperson said security was only one factor behind the program’s creation.

The free service, launched Monday, picks up and drops off passengers at the Hall of Justice near the Civic Center to connect employees with Union Station and parking lots in Chinatown.

Sworn staff from the Bureau of Investigations supervise the service from 6:20 to 8:20 am and again from 4 to 6 pm during the work week.

“The program was created in response to numerous factors, safety being just one of them,” said Tiffiny Blacknell, director of communications for the district attorney’s office. However, she did say that “employees often work long hours and are then forced to walk long distances to their vehicles at night when it is dark.”

However, with the sun setting these days at 7pm, the late-night shuttle from 4-6pm won’t spare the staff a walk in the dark.

Blacknell also cited the lack of ample parking at the office’s downtown location, saying 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 travel time and cost for those who are assigned to that location,” Blacknell said.

The creation of the program comes on the heels of reports that Angelenos are avoiding public transportation in the region due to 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 transport, mostly from suspected overdoses, more than in all of 2022.

In response to concerns, transit officials have allocated $122 million over the past year to try to make the Metro system, made up of 105 train stations and more than 12,000 bus stops, safer.

Almost 300 unarmed”ambassadors“Workers tasked with reporting crime and helping passengers navigate the system, have also been brought in to help with the ‘multi-tiered’ approach to reducing crime.

Meanwhile, Blacknell praised the district attorney’s office’s new method for getting people safely into their cars.

“I have worked downtown for most of my 20-year career,” he said. “I wish they had this service when I was a deputy public defender.”