City Council approves Public Transit Safety Strategy
CALGARY - Today at a meeting of Council, The City of Calgary’s Public Transit Safety Strategy was approved.
“Addressing social disorder and reducing the number of incidents on Calgary’s transit system is a high priority for The City,” says Aaron Coon, Chief, Public Vehicle Standards. “Approval of the Public Transit Safety Strategy provides us with a clear roadmap, the expertise, systems and resources we need to achieve that goal.”
Central to the approved strategy is an evolution of service delivery and greater collaboration between Transit Peace Officers, Security Guards, Community Outreach Teams and Calgary Police Service.
“Public transit in a major city has been compared to the cardiovascular system in how critical they are to overall vitality and well-being. Similarly, public safety across all communities in Calgary is dependent upon the safety of the transit system,” says Chad Tawfik, Deputy Chief, Calgary Police Service. “The Calgary Police Service is an essential partner in collaboration with Public Transit Safety in setting priorities and working to optimize our efforts and address the areas of greatest need. We will make Calgary safer by working together.”
The Public Transit Safety Strategy includes:
· An integrated response between Calgary Police Service and Transit Peace Officers, who will be strategically stationed along the transit line, resulting in quicker response time to calls for service.
· An increase in the number of Transit Peace Officers on the transit system.
· Enhanced authorities for Transit Peace Officers to respond to safety incidents within a targeted response time.
· Coordinated dispatch of calls of services through Calgary 9-1-1.
· Improved station experiences for riders through standards of cleanliness and community engagement that focuses on building positive environments.
· Measures to ensure transit is used for its intended purpose of getting Calgarians where they need to be.
· Measures to help connect Calgarians experiencing vulnerabilities on and around the transit system to supportive resources.
· With the one-time operational budget of $8.7 million that was approved by Council in June, we have already begun moving towards an integrated customer and safety service delivery model.
· This fall, our evolution to a district model will further progress with the opening of a third transit safety hub at Whitehorn.
· While The Public Transit Safety Strategy has been approved, implementation is subject to Council approval of the attached $15M budget during budget adjustments in November 2023.
· Administration will report to Community Development Committee on progress made against the strategy.
For details on the Public Transit Safety Strategy refer to Calgary.ca/TransitSafety