Calgarians have long expressed safety concerns when taking public transit, the train or while waiting for 15-20 minutes after peak hours on the platform. It's well known that public transportation can be a dangerous place for commuters. Now, Calgary Transit Watch safety text alert system will help combat any dangerous incidents or security issues while travelling on public transit.
Downtown, riders are all too familiar with intoxicated and disorderly passengers, and further out of the core, in the evening, many fear the unknown in dimly lit stations. For many years, Calgarians have been concerned about their safety when riding transit throughout the city.
In 2015, Calgary Transit released a report that 46% of transit riders felt unsafe after 6 pm. This year, council members even discussed the lighting issue of stations including Max Bell, with concerned residents calling for improvements.
In an effort to improve their customer experience and combat security issues, Calgary Transit riders will now have the ability to report safety and security issues discreetly and in real time via text.
On Tuesday, April 30, Calgary Transit launched a new Safety alert system that allows commuters to easily text the transit agency easily and discreetly when there's an issue of public safety.
So how does it work? Simply send a text message to 74100 with any immediate safety or security concern, provide as much information as possible, and send photos or videos. Standard text message rates will apply.
The message will be received by staff, who will give advice, log common concern, or will alert a nearby peace officer depending on the severity of the situation, and is handled with the same urgency as any help button activation.
“Safety is a key element of our customer commitment. We want to ensure our customers always feel safe whenever they ride with us and this new tool will continue to improve the safety and security of the Calgary Transit system.” says Doug Morgan, director of Calgary Transit in the Transit news release.
The service is available 24/7 and is meant to ease customers or report security issues, such as disorderly conduct, infrastructure issues, broken glass, ice or harassment, and should never be used in place of 911.