Metro Bus electronic display says "CALL POLICE" - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Metro Bus electronic display says "CALL POLICE"


MADISON (WKOW) -- The electronic display on the front of most Madison Metro buses says the route number and destination, such as "West Transfer Point."

One bus on Monday drove around with a startling message: "CALL POLICE"

A 27 News crew spotted the bus heading towards the Beltline on Verona Road.  Metro admitted the sign was an error and there was no reason for the public to alert police.

Madison Police said they were not aware of any problems on board any bus.

A Madison Metro spokeswoman confirmed several other callers also contacted the bus system about the message.  The spokeswoman said it was a new bus being delivered from Chicago.  The operators were simply testing out the display function.

The spokeswoman suggested to a 27 News producer that the message "CALL POLICE" was 'probably not the best thing to type.'

The display on the second bus had a nonsensical message similar to: "@####"

We wondered if there is an emergency panic button on board buses can that trigger a real emergency "CALL POLICE" message that could be used during a hostage or other crisis.  Metro says its buses do not have any such feature.

Email Dan Cassuto at




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