If any of you have ever needed to ride on Yuba-Sutter Transit, you may have notice the graffiti scrawled on the backs of the bus seats in permanent marker and scratched into the windows. Some of the graffiti is benign, but most of it is lewd, vulgar, or just plain mean. The worst of the graffiti appears on Route 1 buses, including 3164 and 3531.
The graffiti depicts things like the male phallus, sexual messages with phone numbers, swastikas, gang-like tagging, and swear words. Most of us will see these and dismiss them, but there are other witnesses that, through no fault of their own, are exposed to it can do nothing about it. Underage children, as young as newborn, see these messages, affecting their minds. They begin to see a world where vulgarity and profanity are common and destruction of property is expected. They see the sexual comments and possibly learn more than their maturity level allows their brains to interpret rationally. Yuba-Sutter Transit officials do not feel there is any legal concern with underage children viewing this material, so parents who have concerns may contact Yuba-Sutter Transit or ride with their children to sensor what they witness.
Aside from that, graffiti, of any kind, is illegal and punishable by law. In fact, the security cameras installed on the buses in 2010 regularly aid in the capture and prosecution of criminals. According to Yuba-Sutter Transit’s Transit Manager, “Security concerns are not limited to any specific population”, but even though “We$tSide Linda” is one of the sayings on the back of the bus seats, they “are not aware of any identified gang related incidents”. Yuba-Sutter Transit’s Transit Manager also states that they “experience few security incidents…despite 1.2 million annual passenger boardings”.
Graffiti, once found, is dealt with as soon as possible. Either it is removed at the first opportunity or, if severe, the bus may be taken out of service completely until it can be maintained.
We all live in the same community and we should be working together to keep our cities clean, healthy, and safe, if not also working to put ourselves on the map. If you are a college student, or anyone else, and you are responsible for these criminal activities, be aware that you are being videotaped.