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Safety & Security

Safety & Security Safety & Security

Your Safety and Security are our Top Priorities

If you see or hear suspicious behavior on the transit system — we ask that you report the activity to transit staff. If you do not see a uniformed representative – please call (760) 966-6700 and report your observations. If you observe violent behavior or other criminal or threatening acts that could endanger life and property – please dial 911 immediately!

If you are struggling emotionally or having suicidal thoughts, please visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Transit Watch

“See Something, Say Something”™ is an innovative nationwide campaign developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to raise the awareness of safety threats such as criminal behavior and terrorist activities and to encourage the public to tell local law enforcement officials about any suspicious activity they may have seen.


You are our Eyes and Ears

Please help us in identifying and reporting such behaviors, including the following:

Suspicious appearance

  • A person or persons wearing clothes unsuitable for the time of year
  • Anything protruding in an unusual manner underneath a person’s clothing
  • A person trying to blend in with surroundings, even though he or she appears out of place

Suspicious behavior

  • Nervousness, tension, or excessive sweating
  • Individuals deliberately abandoning an item (such as a backpack, package, or suitcase) and hastily departing the area
  • Walking slowly while surveying the area or running in a suspicious manner
  • Individuals seen loitering at transit centers; walking on or near railroad tracks; or entering secured areas

Suspicious conditions, items, and packages

  • Electrical wires, switches, or electronic devices sticking out of a bag, package, or clothing
  • Unattended bags, packages, boxes, or backpacks
  • Unexplained smoke, mist, gas, vapor, odor, or leaking fluid
  • Spray bottles or aerosol canisters

Protecting our Riders

NCTD contracts with the San Diego Sheriff’s Office and local law enforcement agencies to patrol and provide law enforcement and security services at our transit centers.

Sheriff’s Deputies and Police Officers will issue citations for adult passengers who are not in possession of valid fare or proof of reduced-fare eligibility on NCTD SPRINTER train platforms (which are designated as “fare-paid zones”) and NCTD transit vehicles.

Additionally, failure to have a valid fare on NCTD modes of transportation may result in a citation/fine pursuant to NCTD Ordinance 3 and Public Utilities Code §125450.

Security Monitoring Technology

As another layer of security, NCTD utilizes state of the art Closed Circuit Security Television (CCTV) technology. Continual 24-hour monitoring is maintained utilizing hundreds of high definition security cameras that are located at NCTD transit centers and on-board transit vehicles.

Social Media

NCTD also monitors social media for any transit related posts that could impact service or safety and posts service updates through Twitter @NCTD_Alerts

Safety Near Trains


Stay Safe and Follow these Rules:

  1. Look, Listen & Live
    • Be alert – it’s difficult to judge train distance and speed.
    • Look both ways – trains may come from either direction at any time.
    • Listen for train horns and bells.
    • Don’t use cell phones. Do remove ear buds.
  2. Tracks are for Trains
    • Don’t walk, bike, skateboard, jog, or play on or near the tracks
    • Don’t take shortcuts across the tracks.
    • Don’t lean over railings. Trains can overhang tracks by 3′ on each side.
    • Don’t cross between, under, or walk around a parked train. It may move without warning.
    • Always use crosswalks and obey all traffic signs, signals, and crossing gates.
    • Trains always have the right of way.
    • Never walk around or under rail crossing gates.
    • Trains on the coastal rail line travel up to 90 mph.
    • Trains are fast, quiet, and take a long time to stop.
  3. On the Platform
    • Hold small children by the hand while on the platform.
    • Not all trains stop at all stations.
    • Warning strips are located at the edge of station platforms. Stay behind at all times.
    • Be careful of the gap between the platform and the train and take particular care to step well clear of the gap as you board the train.
    • All platforms are different and the size of the gap may vary from station to station.
    • Let passengers who are disembarking clear the area completely before boarding the train.
    • Walk – do not run – on a train platform to avoid tripping and potentially falling onto the tracks.
    • Never ride skateboards, scooters, or bikes on a train platform and always turn wheels so they are at right angles to the tracks.

Schedule a Safety Presentation

Join us in spreading rail safety education awareness and help keep your community safe. Schedule a presentation today for your school, business, or community group by contacting

Emergency Preparedness and Response

In addition to preparing employees for transit emergencies, NCTD coordinates with local law enforcement and fire departments to ensure a prompt, effective response.

As a passenger, the best way you can prepare is to:

  1. Stay informed: Know what’s going on with your commute, follow NCTD on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
  2. Alternate route: Know an alternate route to your primary destination in case your normal routine is interrupted
  3. Have a plan: Develop personal emergency plans with family, friends, and colleagues


NCTD works with local emergency agencies to hold large scale exercises to provide a safe environment for firefighters and law enforcement to practice responding to a variety of emergency scenarios that might happen on our trains or buses.

For more information, please visit the Operation Lifesaver website or the California Operation Lifesaver website.