News / Winnipeg

Ideas for making Winnipeg transit safer headed for City Hall

A number of safety measures from cameras to extra inspectors will be considered at this week's infrastructure and public works committee meeting.

Metro File

One way or another, Winnipeg Transit should be getting safer.

Following the fatal stabbing of a bus driver in February, city officials have been working on coming up with ways to enhance safety for citizens and operators alike.

On Tuesday, the Infrastructure and Public Works committee (IRPW) will receive a report on transit safety management practices, complete with a list of several tangible suggestions to supplement existing measures.

The report recommends adding cameras to the exterior of buses on the boarding-side, hiring more bus operator instructors, adding five employees or “another source of security presence” to buses, hiring more transit inspectors, getting them some wheels and new shelters.

Another idea detailed in the report is piloting safety barriers for drivers.

With IRPW support, all of those items could be forwarded to the 2018 budgeting process, with a total financial impact of around $590,000 on 2018’s budget, and $88,000 in 2017.

Those costs could be halved if the province keeps funding 50 per cent of transit operating, but that is in doubt after an omnibus budget bill that would scrap that cost-sharing arrangement was tabled last week.

A second round-up of ideas to bolster safety bound for IRPW Tuesday includes recommendations for a new safety first policy, the establishment of a transit security force to enforce said policy as well as a zero tolerance on far evasion, and would also see the city establish a new transit community advisory board. 

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