October 7, 2023
Governor Gavin Newsom signs Senate Bill (SB) 434 into law.
(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 434, ‘Public Transit for All: Improving Safety & Increasing Ridership,’ into law. Authored by Senator Dave Min (D-Irvine) and sponsored by Stop AAPI Hate, the legislation is the culmination of a multi-year effort to boost public safety across California’s 10 largest transit agencies. SB 434 requires each agency to collect voluntary survey data to better understand riders’ experiences with street harassment and will ultimately help boost ridership levels by creating data-driven solutions to improve transit safety.
“This moment marks a win-win-win for transit agencies, the state, and most importantly, riders,” said Cynthia Choi, Co-Founder of Stop AAPI Hate and Co-Executive Director of Chinese for Affirmative Action. “As Asian Americans and other targeted communities continue to face attacks on our safety and our rights, this legislation is more critical than ever. It will give power back to riders – women, members of the LQBTQ+ community, people of color, and more – by providing an avenue for victims and survivors to take action and be heard. Their voices can now directly inform solutions that ensure public transit is no longer an arena in which hate and harassment can thrive. We thank Senator Min for authoring and supporting SB 434, and we applaud Governor Newsom for signing it into law. Today, California is sending a powerful message that everyone deserves to feel safe to move freely without fear of hate and harassment.”
Stop AAPI Hate’s reporting center data helped inspire the creation of SB 434. Since the beginning of 2020, the coalition has received more than 11,000 reports of anti-Asian hate acts, about two-thirds of which involve verbal harassment. More than half of these acts occurred in public spaces, including on public transportation and at transit stations.
“Millions of Californians refuse to ride public transit in this state because they do not feel safe,” said Senator Min. “From acts of anti-Asian hate to verbal harassment, a growing number of women, seniors, LGBTQ+ and other vulnerable communities too often ride in fear or have left our public transit systems altogether. I’m proud to say that we are finally taking action to address street harassment and putting in place data driven policies that put ridership experience first. Thank you to Stop AAPI Hate for your steadfast partnership on this bill…a win for every Californian and a game changer for AAPI communities and others who bear the brunt of the street harassment crisis.”
SB 434 will go into effect January 1, 2024.