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Metro Transit's 'Text for Safety' service back online after Saturday outage

It was unavailable for several hours Saturday night.

If you were using public transit Saturday night and needed to report some suspicious behavior, you were mostly on your own for a while.

Metro Transit's "Text for Safety" system, which lets riders report crime and anything else amiss, went offline for about five hours during the evening.

The public transit service reported the outage via Twitter at 6:23 p.m. Saturday, saying Text for Safety was experiencing delays:

Over four hours later, at 11 p.m., Metro Transit tweeted an update that the problem with the system had been "resolved": 

As the Star Tribune notes, the services affected by the problem were the Blue and Green light rail lines, the A and C line bus rapid transit routes as well as the 4, 5, 6, 10, 19, 21, 22, 64 and 74 bus routes.

Not that riders were exactly in danger without Text for Safety, though. 

According to Metro Transit spokesman Howie Padilla, the organization was able to receive text messages but their responses were delayed "for about an hour."

"Since we were able to receive them, we were still able to dispatch officers to any emergency issues," Padilla told BringMeTheNews in an email. 

And, as Metro Transit pointed out in its tweets, any passengers needing police or medical help were still able to call 911.

So why the Text for Safety system in the first place? From the website:

Everyone knows to call 9-1-1 to report a crime but what if you don’t feel comfortable making that call due to concerns for your personal safety? Now you can contact Metro Transit by text for non-emergency situations to silently report something that doesn’t look right on a bus, on a train or at a transit shelter. 

That also covers "suspicious or threatening behavior or anything else we should know about so we can send help."

Metro Transit still does not know what caused this weekend's delays, Padilla said. 

Text for Safety is available via 612-900-0411 or through Metro Transit's mobile app. 

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