‘They feel safer with shields’: ETS working to increase security

Transit officials asked Edmonton city council for more than $20 million to strengthen security for drivers and passengers.

The Amalgamated Transit Union and Edmonton Transit System want $10 million to install retractable bus shields—as well as heating ventilation and air conditioning inside them—to protect operators. The rest of the funds would be used to install cameras on all buses and have security personnel at all 26 stations around the clock.

“Our members are really quite afraid to be working late night service, especially in light of what happened a couple weeks ago,” Amalgamated Transit Union President Mark Tetterington said. “Our operators really want those shields. They feel safer with shields.”

ETS completes 87 million trips every year. There have been 65 million trips completed in 2018, and there have been 2,072 transit-related incidents reported to Edmonton police so far—230 resulted in criminal investigations.

Safety concerns increased after two violent attacks at two different stations last month. On September 18, a 19-year-old man was stabbed on the South Campus LRT platform, and just over a week later, a bus driver was stabbed at the Mill Woods Transit Centre.

City council will make a decision in November.

With files from Nahreman Issa



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