City council unanimously agreed yesterday to a comprehensive safety evaluation of the city transit system.
Ald. Diane Colley-Urquhart put forth a variety of recommended areas for the transit review, which included a review of criminal acts on transit, the response capability of transit security to the incidents, the monitoring and communication of transit facilities and the examination of transit ‘best practices’ in other cities.
The review was firmly backed by Ald. Druh Farrell — a regular user of transit herself.
“Let me fill you in on something. (Transit safety) isn’t a secret to our transit riders. It may be to us, maybe we’re not aware of it, but they know what’s going on, so I think it’s our responsibility to inform ourselves on what the issues are,” she said.
Farrell said she’s received hundreds of responses from constituents on transit safety, including one concerned citizen that had a seven-page list of concerns. She went on to say that the city should listen to the safety concerns of women riders, because they have a different perception of safety while riding transit and “the decision makers are men and they don’t see that.”
Farrell also pointed out a potential problem with the free-fare zone, calling it “a warming station for vagrants.”
“We have an honour system, we have a free downtown system and it is ridden all day, but mostly in the evening by people who have nothing else to do. And I think that is not the role of Calgary Transit.”
Mayor Dave Bronconnier agreed a review was needed, but was quick to defend the “excellent work that is done at Calgary Transit.”
The issue was referred to an audit committee, which will create initial terms of reference for council, to be returned no later than April end.
City’s LRT safety review on track
City council unanimously agreed yesterday to a comprehensive safety evaluation of the city transit system.<br />