Press Release

Governor Signs Min’s Public Transit Bill into Law, Creates Data-Driven Safety Framework

SACRAMENTO, CA — Senator Dave Min (D-Irvine) and Stop AAPI Hate today announced that Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 1161 into law. This legislation requires the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University to create a survey tool for California transit operators to strengthen and promote passenger safety. The data collection effort is a critical first step in creating a larger framework for meaningful safety solutions. Rooted in Stop AAPI Hate’s documentation of nationwide hate and harassment, the data-driven approach centers rider experiences and ensures consistency in the collection of demographic information, first and last mile safety concerns, and overall experiences with safety, including street harassment.

“No Californian should feel unsafe on public transit, yet study after study shows that a majority of women, seniors, LGBTQ+ riders, and other vulnerable populations experience street harassment or worse while commuting,” Min said. “This legislation puts forward a data-driven safety framework that will help us understand why these incidents keep happening. The new survey tool developed by the Mineta Institute is the first step in a strategic approach by the Legislature to address this issue. Thank you to the coalition at Stop AAPI Hate for your partnership, and for fighting so hard for California public transit riders who are relying on us to get this right.  And thank you to Governor Newsom for signing SB 1161.”

“We applaud Governor Newsom for signing SB 1161 into law and sending a signal that there is no place for hate in California,” said Cynthia Choi, Co-Founder at Stop AAPI Hate and Co-Executive Director at Chinese for Affirmative Action. “We cannot fix what we cannot measure. SB 1161 opens the door to data-driven policy solutions by naming the problem of street harassment on public transit, developing a tool for transit systems to measure its impact, and providing an avenue for public transit riders to share their experiences.”

“The Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University is leading cutting-edge, innovative research that places passenger safety at the forefront. This survey tool will help create a safer, more secure environment for vulnerable riders who may be reluctant to use public transit.” said MTI Executive Director Karen Philbrick.

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Senator Min represents California State Senate District 37, which is located in Orange County and includes the communities of Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Foothill Ranch, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Newport Beach, Orange, Tustin, and Villa Park.