Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) is a leading transit agency in North America for using gender-based analysis (GBA+) to further enhance safety and security on transit. This type of unique approach—based on diverse and inclusive community perspectives—will put ETS at the forefront of implementing safety enhancements based on GBA+ and community feedback.
“As part of City Council’s ongoing work to make Edmonton a safer city, we’ve been working directly with community partners on initiatives that will further enhance safety on transit, particularly for women and girls,” said Councillor Bev Esslinger. “This important safety work is being driven by the community, for the community.”
The ETS approach involves directly connecting with community groups and agencies, such as the Women’s Advocacy Voice of Edmonton (WAVE), the ETS Advisory Board, and members of the Edmonton Safe City Community Collaboration Committee, which includes Indigenous organizations, academia and others, to better understand root causes of safety concerns with a focus on women’s and girls’ safety.
“By incorporating diverse perspectives and actioning community ideas to further enhance safety for women and girls, the transit system will be safer for everyone,” said Carrie Hotton-MacDonald, Director of Business Integration, ETS. “There’s still lots of work to do in our strategic safety plan, but I’m very proud of the community work we’re doing and the direction we’re taking.”
Since City Council’s $22-million investment in 2018 to further enhance safety and security on transit, ETS has seen encouraging results, including:
- A 300 per cent increase in reporting incidents because of improved surveillance, personnel presence and communication efforts that outline how to report concerns.
- A 30 per cent decrease in criminal occurrences.
- A 50 per cent decrease in mischief at LRT stations and transit centres with contracted security guards.
Transit Watch text message serviceBased on community feedback, ETS will launch a Transit Watch text message service on November 13, as part of its continuous improvement plan to further enhance safety and security on transit.
The new Transit Watch text message service will allow Edmontonians to discreetly report safety and security concerns on transit, such as harassment, disorder and suspicious behaviour. Edmontonians can send a text message to the existing Transit Watch phone number, 780-442-4900, and the message will go directly to ETS staff in the Control Centre 24/7. The Control Centre will respond to the text message and dispatch appropriate resources, if required. All emergencies should still be reported to 9-1-1.
“We’ve heard from women and girls about the importance of having a discreet way to report safety and security concerns on transit,” said Hotton-MacDonald. “This safety initiative provides another layer of reporting that will help empower our riders to report concerns. More reporting also gives us valuable insight and data to help us strategically deploy resources to the right place, at the right time.”For more information:edmonton.ca/transit