Crime in NYC may be at an all time low, but that doesn’t mean that grave crimes — particularly those against women— aren’t being committed on a daily basis. Brooklyn Bike Patrol is a citizens brigade with the goal of making the women of Brooklyn feel safe as they travel from train stations to their homes in the evening hours, 7 days a week. Whether you’re a woman at a bar, a friend’s home or at a subway or bus stop, members of Brooklyn Bike Patrol will escort you from wherever you are to wherever you need to go.
Founder and Brooklyn Bike Patrol president Jay Ruiz decided to start the service in 2011 after he saw a disturbing video of a woman being attacked on the internet, followed by the news of numerous gropings occurring in South Park Slope, Windsor Terrace and Kensington. He initially posted himself by subway stations in these areas and passed out fliers advertising his services to women coming off the trains. Now, more than a year later, his initiative has grown to cover 58 train stops in Brooklyn. So far, Brooklyn Bike Patrol has escorted women home over 400 times and their client list has risen to almost 200.
The group services train stops across Brooklyn, including Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Sunset Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, Carroll Gardens, Bed Stuy, Crown Heights, Borough Park, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bushwick and Williamsburg. All their volunteers have been background checked by the 72nd Precinct and their pictures can be found on the Brooklyn Bike Patrol on Facebook page.
The group is also hoping to raise money for helmet cams so that they can keep a record of their surroundings. If you’re interested in making a contribution, you can give them a call or send them an email for more details.
Hours of operation: Sunday–Thursday, 8pm–12am; Friday–Saturday 8pm–4am. Call the Brooklyn Bike Patrol before you board your train and one of their volunteers will meet you and escort you home. If you need an escort outside of normal hours, call them early and they will try to accommodate you. Service is totally free and they don’t accept tips.