Declare A Transit Safety Emergency
Downtown revitalization has been in the news lately, with Mayor Gondek asking the Province for $100 million to make the area more “vibrant”.
But really, the best thing the City could do for downtown revitalization is to ensure people can actually get around safely.
Stabbings, slashings, fights, open drug use, brawls, and countless random attacks - the horrendous state of Calgary’s transit system is unbelievable.
Open drug use at a station
A recent poll showed 17% of people are avoiding using transit entirely due to safety concerns, with even more refusing to ride at night, or alone.
And can you blame them?
At bus stops, on buses, at train stations and on trains, it seems like we now hear about some new horrific incident every day.
- A man shot with a flare gun during a brawl involving knives and pipes.
- An elderly visually-impaired man slashed in the neck on a train.
- A young woman attacked with a hatchet.
- Four people attacked with a machete.
And that’s just the stuff that makes the news - social media is full of regular reports of threats, intimidation, thefts, and yes - violence, often involving people openly using drugs in and around the transit system.
Honestly, there are so many more terrible stories and photos that we can't even include in this report without having to include content warnings.
A far too common sight
It’s no wonder no one wants to take public transit anymore.
And what has been Council’s response?
They say that low ridership is the main problem, and have implemented a number of truly bizarre initiatives in order to bolster transit use.
First, there was a karaoke bus. It was touted as a way to “bring some fun to your commute”. Horrible renditions of the karaoke classic “I Will Survive” take on a whole new meaning when you’re literally worried for your personal safety.
Then, there was the trivia bus. Here’s a quiz question for you - what’s a terrifying way to get downtown that you wouldn’t use, even if it was free? The Ctrain!
Speaking of free - children are now able to ride transit for free. But no one wants to take their kids on transit, even with a chaperone, let alone let them ride by themselves. Adult Calgarians don’t even want to ride by themselves!
The one thing they haven’t tried?
Cracking down on the criminal activity happening every single day - even the City’s own statistics show a 53% increase since 2019.
Under repair? Or given up?
Now, don’t get us wrong - we understand that the issues the City is facing with drug addiction, mental health, and homelessness are complex problems, and we’re all for new and innovative approaches to address these challenges.
But a more compassionate approach to social disorder can’t come at the expense of basic public safety - the City needs to do both.
What will it take to convince Council that transit safety should be a priority?
How many more people need to be violently attacked?
How many people need to be murdered?
Transit customer use only
We know this Council loves to declare a good emergency - especially on things that aren’t in their jurisdiction.
Declaring a climate emergency was the Mayor’s number one priority upon getting elected.
Well, we think it’s high time Council got serious about something that is actually their job.
It's time for Calgary Council to declare a Transit Safety Emergency, and do everything within their power to restore order and safety to our City’s transit system.
If you agree, sign our petition calling on Calgary Council to get serious about public safety and declare a transit safety emergency.
Then share the petition with your friends, family, co-workers, and every Calgarian, so they can make their voices heard too.
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As we returned to that station later, we did see two peace officers standing by road side on Elbow Dr. SW but no one was INSIDE Southland train station building where about 6 or 7 male and female homeless zombies were having a gathering by the staircase at very close distance one another, head to head. It looked like they were doing some kind of ‘transaction’ (drug??!). Some of them looked up and their faces looked really scary!
Never in my life have we seen such horrifying scenes in any other countries’ subway or light train stations!