Spotlight on safety - Metro US

Spotlight on safety

Calgarians generally feel safe on Calgary Transit — at least in the daytime — but may have a skewed perception of reality when it comes to security.

According to Thursday’s audit report on Calgary Transit safety, 93 per cent of Calgarians generally feel safe while on C-Train platforms, but that number plummeted to just 38 per cent when the sun went down.

Numbers for employees were startlingly different, with just 69 per cent feeling safe during the day and the lowest percentage of all Calgary Transit riders — 21 per cent — feeling safe at night.

However, Solomon Wong from InterVISTAS, who presented the report to the audit subcommittee, said most stated they felt safe on the Dalhousie platform, when in reality, it has one of the highest crime rates.

“I was pleased that it was as thorough as it was,” Ald. Diane Colley-Urquhart said of the report, addressing the fact that when she had initially called for an audit, “Calgary Transit said everything was fine.”

She added that she had chatted with employees and knew how unsafe they felt, which is why she said there wasn’t difficulty retaining workers.

“I think it shows overall our system is safe,” said Ald. Ric McIver.

McIver did question one recommendation that called for more officers, asking, “To what degree will adding more officers pay for themselves” in ridership?

Out of the 27 recommendations, the highlights included upgrading what Colley-Urquhart called “Fisher Price cameras,” improving lighting and better maintenance, reviewing the free-fare zone, adding eyes to the platforms, coming up with creative ways to keep non-riders off the platform, improving the help phone system and working out a way to provide proper change for tickets.

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