Transit police

Transit police

Transit police also known as transport police or transit enforcement, is a specialized police agency or unit employed by a common carrier, which could be a railroad, bus line, other transport carrier, or the state. Their mandate is to prevent and investigate crimes committed against the carrier or by or against passengers or other customers of the carrier, or those committed on the carrier's property.

A transit police force may consist of officers employed directly by a transit provider, such as the Amtrak Police, or it may exist as specialized unit of a police force, such as the Transit Police Services Bureau of the Orange County, California Sheriff's Department, which serves the Orange County Transportation Authority.

Where the term "transit police" is used for the police working for a railroad, it usually refers to a railroad providing urban mass transit (such as a city elevated system or subway) as opposed to long-distance rail carriage. Police who work either for a private non-passenger railroad or long-haul rail carrier are usually referred to as "railroad police" or "railway police". In Britain, most of the rail system, including the London Underground, is policed by a national transport police agency, the British Transport Police. Some transit police have full policing powers, while in other areas, they have limited powers and are classed as special police or special constables with limited powers.

Some of the crimes transit police and railroad police investigate include trespassing on the right-of-way of a railroad, assaults against passengers, tagging of graffiti on railroad rolling stock and buses or bus stops, pickpocketing, ticket fraud, robbery and theft of personal belongings, baggage or freight, and drug dealing at transit stations.

Jurisdiction and authority

Depending on the jurisdiction, they may not have any more authority than a private security firm. Others, such as the British Transport Police, New Jersey Transit Police Department, Maryland Transit Administration Police, DART and SEPTA Transit Police [] , have rather extensive jurisdictions, including traffic enforcement, with arrest powers on and off property. Transit and railroad police tend to have better results in finding perpetrators of crimes they investigate than public police forces, possibly due to specialization and smaller case loads.

List of specialised transit/transport police agencies and departments


*Railway Squad, Queensland Police
*Transit Officers, Rail Corporation New South Wales and Queensland Rail
*Transit Police Division, South Australia Police (all public transport in Adelaide)
*Transit Safety Division, Victoria Police (predominantly operate in Melbourne) as well as Authorised Officers employed by Public Transport operator companies.
*The Police Rail Unit,commonly mistaken for Transit Police, however they are a specialised unit of the Western Australian Police that assist the PTA Transit Officers when needed.Western Australia Police (operating in Perth)
*Transit Officers, Public Transport Authority of Western Australia


Railroad police

*Canadian National Railway Police Service
*Canadian Pacific Railway Police Service

Transit police

Because policing is a provincial responsibility, police powers are vary in different jurisdictions. With the exception of [Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority Police Service ( search: GVTAPS), who have full policing powers within Metro Vancouver, and British Columbia] , urban transit police forces are special constabularies with limited policing powers.
*Calgary Transit Protective Services
*South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Service
*Société de transport de Montréal (STM) Security Service
*GO Transit Special Constables
*Toronto Transit Commission Special Constables
*York Region Transit/Viva Special Constables


* [ Police Régionale des Transports] (Police Nationale) (Operates on Suburban trains, and Paris Metro)
*Service National de Police Ferroviaire (Police Nationale-Direction Centrale de la Police aux Frontières) (Operates on main lines trains)
*Service Interdépartemental de Sécurité dans les Transports en Commun (SISTC)(Police Nationale- Direction Centrale de la Sécurité Publique)
*Surveillance Générale (Suge, operates on SNCF railways. This private service, which dépends to SNCF, has restricted police powers)
*Groupe de Protection et de Sécurisation des Réseaux (GPSR, operates on RATP railways. This private service, which dépends to RATP, has restricted police powers)


* former German Democratic Republic: Transportpolizei
* Federal Republic of Germany: Bahnpolizei

Hong Kong

*Railway District, Hong Kong Police Force


* Railway Protection Force
* Government Railway Police


*Railway Police ("Polizia Ferroviaria"), "Polizia di Stato"


*Railway Police Service ("Dienst Spoorwegpolitie"), Dutch National Police ("Korps Landelijke Politiediensten")


* Police MRT Unit, Special Operations Command, Singapore Police Force

United Kingdom

*British Transport Police (national railways in Great Britain, London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, Midland Metro, Tramlink)
*Metrolink Unit, Greater Manchester Police
*Transport Operational Command Unit, Metropolitan Police (buses and taxis in London)
*Metro Unit, Northumbria Police

United States

*Public Transportation Section, Chicago Police Department
*Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Police Department
*Greater Cleveland Transit Police Department
*Metro Transit Police Department, King County Sheriff's Office
*Transit Services Bureau, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
*Maryland Transit Administration Police Force
*Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Police Department
*Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) Police Department
*Metra Police Department
*Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) Transit Police Department
*Napa Valley Railroad Police Department
*New Jersey Transit Police Department
*New York City Transit Police - (Merged into the NYPD in 1995)
*New York City Police Department Transit Bureau (New York Subway)
*New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway Police Department
*Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Transit Police Department
*Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District Transit Police Department (South Shore Line)
*OCTA-Transit Police Services Bureau, Orange County Sheriff's Department
*Port Authority of Allegheny County Police and Security Services Department
*Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department (responsible for PATH)
*MetroLink Unit, St. Louis County Police Department
*San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) District Police Department
*Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) Police Department
*State of New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Department
*Washington Metro Transit Police Department

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