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The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) in 2016 had the lowest number of serious crimes among the 12 largest transit agencies in the United States.The MTA last year logged a total of 240 "Part I" crimes, which include aggravated assault, arson, burglary, homicide, theft and rape. That figure was the lowest in a study of transit systems in major U.S. cities, including Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and New York City. The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) carried out the study.In addition, the MTA reported the fourth consecutive year of declining crime figures, agency officials said in a press release. The number of serious crimes reported fell from 255 in 2015, and from 285 in 2014. The MARTA study examined crimes on MTA's light rail, subway, MARC trains, buses and paratransit services."Nothing is more important than the safety and security of our passengers and operators," said MTA Administrator and Chief Executive Officer Paul Comfort. "The numbers show that the MTA continues to be a very safe transit system to ride."Over the last two years, the MTA added 20 uniformed police officer positions to enhance its available resources. The agency's police force also utilize data-driven deployment and predictive policing to more efficiently protect its system, MTA officials said.