The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA or MTA; branded as Metro) is the California state-chartered regional transportation planning agency (RTPA) and public transportation operating agency for the County of Los Angeles formed in 1993 out of a merger of the Southern California Rapid Transit District and the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission. The agency develops and oversees transportation plans, policies, funding programs, and both short-term and long-range solutions that address the county’s increasing mobility, accessibility and environmental needs. The agency is also the primary transit provider for the City of Los Angeles providing the bulk of such services while the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) operates a much smaller system of its own Commuter Express bus service to outlying suburbs in the city of Los Angeles and the popular DASH (Downtown Area Short Hop) mini-bus service in downtown and other neighborhoods in the city of Los Angeles. The MTA has its headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority operates the third-largest public transportation system in the United States by ridership with a 1,433 mi² (3,711 km²) operating area and 2,000 peak hour buses on the street any given business day. Metro also designed, built and now operates of urban rail service. The authority has 9,200 employees, making it one of the region’s largest employers. The authority also partially funds sixteen municipal bus operators and a wide array of transportation projects including bikeways and pedestrian facilities, local roads and highway improvements, goods movement, Metrolink regional commuter rail, Freeway Service Patrol and freeway call boxes within the greater metropolitan Los Angeles region. Security and law enforcement services on Metro property (including buses and trains) are currently provided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Transit Services Bureau via contract, in conjunction with Metro’s Transit Security department. Between 2003 and 2008 Part I crimes have decreased 29.4% on Metro rails and 10% on the Metro buses. In 2006, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority was named Outstanding Transportation System for 2006 by the American Public Transportation Association. Most buses and trains have “America’s Best” decals affixed.