Some Calgary Transit riders are questioning the safety of downtown trains and buses at night.
A pair of Calgary women have recently fallen victim to harassment and physical confrontations aboard C-Trains with other late night passengers who appear to be intoxicated.
“I don’t like using the transit in downtown at night, but I don’t have a choice,” said 19-year-old Iman Abdullahi, saying the free fare zone may attract what she calls “chaos.”
Ron Collins of Calgary Transit said safety initiatives have been undertaken to ensure a safe ride for passengers.
“Safety and security is utmost important to Calgary Transit. We take everything very seriously,” said Collins.
Twenty-one-year-old Jessica Roh said she has been verbally abused and seen people physically harassed while riding downtown transit late at night.
“There’s only so much that train drivers can do, sometimes passengers (helping) are more reliable than transit,” she said.
Passengers experiencing harassment can call the help line, which is located on every platform and C-Train, Collins said. If the situation is urgent, passengers can call 911.
The $3 parking lot fee has also helped fund safety measures. Buses now have drive cams (surveillance cameras), lighting has improved at train stations, and more transit officers have been hired, according to Collins.
Carolyn MacDonald, spokesperson for the Calgary Downtown Association, believes an increase in police presence has helped with safety concerns.
“The new platform locations have helped. We are starting to see crime decrease,” said MacDonald.