Thursday, October 1, 2009

Calgarians feeling safe on Calgary Transit

Calgarians are feeling safe on Calgary Transit, according to the results of a new safety, security and cleanliness survey.

The survey, conducted by HarGroup Management Consultants, saw improvements in every area from the 500 Calgary Transit customers in 2008.

“We are seeing real improvements in the areas of safety, security and cleanliness,” said Brian Whitelaw, Calgary Transit’s Coordinator of Public Safety and Enforcement. “A lot of work has been done over the past 18 months to improve and enhance safety, security and cleanliness of the transit system and citizens are taking notice. We will continue to reinvest the fees generated from parking revenues to keep the transit system safe, clean and well-maintained. ”

Overall, respondents said they felt safer on Calgary Transit than in the adjacent community. One of the common questions about Calgary Transit are the park and ride fees and what that revenue source is being used for.

Regarding safety, Calgary Transit has been able to invest more in current initiatives, such as enhancing its surveillance camera system, and develop new ones, such as the Mountain Bike Peace Officer Team that are proving very effective. They also allow the Calgary Parking Authority to have security officers patrol the park and ride lots, in addition to Calgary Transit Public Safety and Enforcement officers.

Improvements from the survey include:
  • Higher safety ratings for traveling on CTrains (94%) and buses (98%) before 6 p.m. and waiting for CTrains before 6 p.m. (93%) and after 6 p.m. (57%)
  • Transit vehicles generally free of nuisance behaviour (79%)
  • More satisfied with the absence of graffiti on CTrains and stations (93%).
  • More satisfied with the cleanliness of CTrains interiors (93%) and stations (90%)
  • More satisfied with the maintenance and conditions of CTrains (92%).
  • More customers said they are observing peace officers on the system (51%)
  • Fifty per cent of respondents said more peace officers might improve safety and security of transit customers while eight per cent suggested more police.
Correlating with the results of this survey are statistics that show crime on Calgary Transit property has decreased significant:
  • Property crimes to the end of August 2009 fell by 21 per cent to 96 from 122 offences during the same period in 2008.
  • Crimes against persons remains very low at 2.18 offences per million riders.
  • Auto crime dropped by 29 per cent to 298 from 421 during the same period.
  • Stolen vehicles fell by 31 per cent to 118 from 172 and damage to vehicles decreased by 44 per cent to 86 incidents from 153.
  • Theft from vehicles increased marginally by eight per cent to 84 incidents from 78.
  • Proactive patrols by peace officers have reduced demand for Calgary Police Service response to Calgary Transit properties by 20 per cent or nearly 400 calls.

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