The Surrey Board of Trade is asking TransLink’s CEO for more safety measures for women on public transit.
This comes after Metro Vancouver Transit Police released a video showing a man punching and kneeing a 17-year-old on a Surrey bus back in April. The man was identified and arrested two days after transit police asked the public for its help to identify the suspect.
• TransLink research the transit needs of women;
• The time for one fare during the day is extended to three hours, “reducing the financial burden placed on women”;
• TransLink implement a family-only cab, compartment or section of a transit vehicle;
• More female staff be hired to provide a level of comfort for women, and;
• Better lighting be installed at all transit stops, and on all transit vehicles
“To increase transit usage, women need to feel safe utilizing those modes of transportation. However, we know this is not the case as women face the fear of harassment and assault while using transit,” she said.
Huberman said the board “has heard firsthand incidents of harassment and fear from our members while using transit. This fear for safety is not easily understood.”
“Although men can also feel unsafe using transit, the concerns are different. A family-only compartment or area on a transit vehicle can potentially improve safety and make riders feel at ease and increase their willingness to use public transit.”
Meantime, TransLink said in a statement that they “understand there can be safety concerns, every city has unique challenges and we continue to work with the City of Surrey, its police department and our own Transit Police and Transit Security to ensure all customers can feel safe when taking transit.”
In response to Huberman and the board’s recommendations, TransLink says it has “invested in improved lighting in many stations and exchanges.”
Additionally, more than 40 per cent of SkyTrain attendants are female and the “percentage of female Transit Police officers continues to increase year after year.”