Canadian Security Magazine

TTC says safety measures working, but data shows passenger satisfaction down

The Canadian Press   

News public transit transit safety TTC

By Nairah Ahmed in Toronto

Data released by the Toronto Transit Commission on Monday indicated security incidents involving passengers were decreasing, although satisfaction with personal safety was also down.

The TTC said the rate of reported offences stood at 1.82 per million customers in May, a 32.6 per cent decrease from the rate in January.

Passenger satisfaction with personal safety, however, was also down, the TTC’s data indicated. The rate of satisfaction stood at 59 per cent in February – capturing the sentiment of customers for the month before – compared to 54 per cent in May.

Meanwhile, major crime on all transit systems in Toronto – which include the TTC and GO Transit – was up 24 per cent, with 220 occurrences in May compared to 177 in January.

The TTC pointed to the data indicating a decline in overall reported offences on Monday and said its measures to boost safety in the system were working.

“Decisions our Board has made to invest in safety, security and cleanliness are clearly paying off,” TTC chair Jon Burnside wrote in a statement.

The TTC announced a $5-million investment in January to improve safety in the system following a series of violent incidents, including stabbings, BB gun shootings and an alleged swarming.

The measures included an increase in the presence of special constables, supervisors, trained community safety ambassadors and outreach teams.

The TTC is also working with the city’s shelter and housing support staff, police and Toronto Public Health.

Shelagh Pizey-Allen, director of advocacy group TTC Riders, said the transit operator needed to better support those experiencing homelessness. She criticized a TTC initiative to discourage homeless individuals from sheltering in the system.

“The TTC is trying to make homelessness invisible,” she said.

“These issues are more complex than what can be captured in a dashboard.”

The TTC said its safety ambassadors conducted 2,700 wellness checks on underhoused individuals in the transit system in May.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 12, 2023

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