Calgary approves transit safety strategy

Just two weeks after a passenger was stabbed between the Victoria Park/Stampede and City Hall stations, forcing dozens of riders to flee into an underground tunnel, a public transit strategy was given the go-ahead in Calgary’s council chambers.

On Tuesday, the city approved a strategy which includes increasing the presence of transit peace officers and Calgary police.

They will be upping patrols at higher-risk LRT stations, such as Whitehorn, Downtown, and Westbrook.

The strategy also features comprehensive training for transit staff to address safety, and investments in community programming to create a more positive experience for riders.

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There are also plans to improve cleaning measures at transit stations, and discourage negative behaviours.

The strategy will be rolled out over the next 18 months, but patrols at the three aforementioned stations will begin much sooner.

While it has been given the go-ahead, it still requires council’s approval of its $15-million price tag, as part of November’s budget adjustment process.

A recent Ipsos survey found only 35 per cent of Calgarians think public transit is safe, and 94 per cent believe the city should be doing more to address safety issues downtown.

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