Declare A Transit Safety Emergency
Downtown revitalization has been in the news lately, with Mayor Sohi asking the Province for $100 million to make the area more “vibrant”.
But really, the best thing the City could do for downtown revitalization is to ensure people can actually get around safely.
Stabbings, slashings, fights, open drug use, brawls, and countless random attacks - the horrendous state of Edmonton’s transit system is unbelievable.
A far too common sight
A recent poll showed 17% of people are avoiding using transit entirely due to safety concerns, with even more refusing to ride at night, or alone.
And can you blame them?
At bus stops, on buses, at train stations and on trains, it seems like we now hear about some new horrific incident every day.
- A machete attack at Southgate Transit Centre.
- An elderly woman punched and pushed onto the tracks.
- A young woman stabbed at the Bay/Enterprise Square station.
- A bus destroyed by an ice-pick-wielding rider.
And that’s just the stuff that makes the news - social media is full of regular reports of threats, intimidation, thefts, and yes - violence, often involving people openly using drugs in and around the transit system.
Honestly, there are so many more terrible stories and photos that we can't even include in this report without having to include content warnings.
Open drug use in a station
It’s no wonder no one wants to take public transit anymore.
Council says they’ve tried everything, including a Transit Safety plan, cameras, and a hotline to report incidents.
The one thing they haven’t tried?
Cracking down on the criminal activity happening every single day.
Used needles and trash
Now, don’t get us wrong - we understand that the issues the City is facing with drug addiction, mental health, and homelessness are complex problems, and we’re all for new and innovative approaches to address these challenges.
But a more compassionate approach to social disorder can’t come at the expense of basic public safety - the City needs to do both.
What will it take to convince Council that transit safety should be a priority?
How many more people need to be violently attacked?
How many people need to be murdered?
A man with a knife
We know this Council loves to declare a good emergency - especially on things that aren’t in their jurisdiction.
They declared a climate emergency in 2019, for example.
Well, we think it’s high time Council got serious about something that is actually their job.
It's time for Edmonton Council to declare a Transit Safety Emergency, and do everything within their power to restore order and safety to our City’s transit system.
If you agree, sign our petition calling on Edmonton Council to get serious about public safety and declare a transit safety emergency.
Then share the petition with your friends, family, co-workers, and every Edmontonian, so they can make their voices heard too.
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