City of Calgary Implements Enhanced Safety Measures on Transit System – Calgary

In an effort to reduce rising social unrest on the city’s transit system, the City of Calgary is implementing enhanced safety measures for the coming weeks.

Starting Monday, more transit peace officers, by-law officers, members of the Calgary Police Service and uniformed security officers will be stationed throughout the transit system, a statement from the city said.

Ambassadors will be on hand at select station entrances to check proof that passengers have paid for their ticket, with additional staff deployed to monitor security cameras and coordinate with peace officers and emergency officials.

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With the Alberta government lifting the work-from-home order on Tuesday, transit officials said they want commuters to feel safe.

“We have been monitoring social unrest and our transit systems since the start of the pandemic and we know this is a concern for many Calgarians. We are committed to providing a clean, safe and accessible transit system,” Sharon Fleming, director of Calgary Transit, told Global News.

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“As the provincial work-from-home order ends and we welcome new runners and our returning runners, we want to make sure we have everyone’s safety in mind.”

These additional measures are expected to remain in place for the next “several weeks”.

Click to play video:

City of Calgary extends LRT station closing hours due to ‘social disorder’

City of Calgary extends LRT station closing hours due to ‘social disorder’ – January 27, 2022

Tackling social disorder in the transit system has been a significant issue for Calgary Transit and the city for the past two years.

Some transit riders who spoke to Global News on Monday said they noticed the increased mess on the train.

“There are a lot of scum on the train at night. I intervened when some people felt embarrassed,” said Raymond Dagenais. “I feel 100% safe.”

But others, like Crowchay Crowchief, said they welcomed an increased security presence on the train line.

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“There are always bad things happening at every station,” he said. “I’m glad there are police and peace officers at every station because people are getting stabbed.”

Earlier this year, Calgary Transit officials closed three stations overnight to cope with “large gatherings” of people trying to shelter indoors during a freezing cold snap.

At the time, city officials said about 170 people sought shelter at train stations each night. These stations lack toilets and regular overnight temperature checks.

Instead, the city deployed resources to transport vulnerable people using train stations as shelter to local shelters and services.

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City of Calgary extends LRT station closing hours due to ‘social disorder’

Weeks after those closures, transit officials closed 24-hour indoor access to Anderson, Southland, Heritage and Erlton Stampede Park stations.

Transit officials said the closures allow Calgary Transit to “take care of other station buildings where people congregate.”

Global News has confirmed that indoor access to these stations remains closed.

“There has been a lot of pressure between partner organizations to make sure people who are homeless or in need of certain support services can access them,” Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said. “We are now seeing that with everyone returning to work and work-from-home orders lifted, we will see more activity on public transport.”

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Transit officials said there will be continued work with the Downtown Outreach Addictions Partnership (DOAP) team as well as outreach teams and shelter providers to help people access supports including they need.

Last week, Ward 1 Coun. Sonya Sharp said she and some of her colleagues met with city and transit officials to discuss the “transit safety crisis” after receiving multiple calls to her office and touring the Tuscan CTrain station.

“We have to get people where they need to go safely, and some of these people have no other option, it’s the only way to get around,” Sharp told Global News. “Security shouldn’t be an option for people who live in the city.”

Click to play the video: 'Calgary Transit reassures riders of measures to ensure their safety'

Calgary Transit reassures riders of measures to ensure their safety

Calgary Transit reassures riders of measures to ensure their safety – January 11, 2022

Calgary Transit said it hopes the lifting of the work-from-home order will result in increased ridership.

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In a recent City Council update, officials said the hope was to reach 75% of pre-pandemic ridership levels in 2022 after a sharp drop in ridership throughout the pandemic.

If that target is met, Calgary Transit will face a shortfall of $33 million, but that could increase to $89 million if ridership levels only reach the service’s low estimate of 60 % of pre-pandemic levels.

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“Returning ridership to public transit is critical to ensuring our operational stability as a public transit system,” Fleming told Global News. “But it’s also very important to make sure that we don’t have to reduce our service in the future.”

Other safety supports for cyclists:

  • Passengers with immediate safety concerns are encouraged to report them to the bus or CTrain operator, a uniformed peace officer, or law enforcement authorities.
  • By SMS to 74100
  • Via support phones located at CTrain stations, MAX Purple hubs and stations, or
  • By phone at 403-262-1000, option 1

For emergencies, always dial 9-1-1.

Although face covering rules are being relaxed this week, we remind passengers that provincial rules still require the wearing of face coverings on public transport.

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