OHS Canada Magazine

Calgary’s new public transit safety strategy to address crime and social disorder

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October 18, 2023
By The Canadian Press

Health & Safety calgary Transit

Light rail rapid transit tram in downtown Calgary. Photo: Adobe Stock

Calgary city council has approved a public transit safety strategy to address crime and social disorder on buses and trains.

City officials say in a statement that transit safety is a high priority and the strategy provides a road map to achieve that goal.

It includes greater co-operation among transit peace officers, security guards, community outreach teams and police.

Deputy police Chief Chad Tawfik says public safety depends on the safety of the transit system and officers can make Calgary safer by working together.

The strategy includes the integrated response between police and transit peace officers, an increase in the number of transit peace officers and co-ordinated dispatch of calls through the city’s 911 system.


Transit safety has been an issue across the country in the past year after a spate of violent attacks on buses, trains and subways.

In April, the Canadian Urban Transit Association made 27 recommendations to improve rider and staff safety, including a demand to hire more on-the-ground peace officers, special constables and police officers.

The recommendations emphasized that public transit systems reflect the communities they serve and that issues such as homelessness, substance use, and mental health affect transit systems when left unaddressed.

Some of the high-profile attacks this year have included a 17-year-old boy who was fatally stabbed while riding public transit near Vancouver, a daytime shooting on a bus in Calgary’s downtown and the “unprovoked” stabbing death of a 16-year-old boy at a Toronto subway station.


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