More security needed on transit to address growing safety concerns, advocate says

The Canadian Urban Transit Association says cities need to hire more security officers for public transit systems and give them more power to curb dangerous behaviour on trains and buses.

The association is making multiple recommendations Monday to improve rider and staff safety on public transit in the wake of a recent string of high-profile attacks on transit users and workers across the country.

Association president Marco D’Angelo says we need stiffer penalties for assaults on transit systems as well as more on-the-ground peace officers, special constables, and police officers.

He says the federal government should also amend the Criminal Code to include specific offences against all transit workers, not just transit operators.

Click to play video: 'Transit safety concerns continue to plague Edmonton'

Transit safety concerns continue to plague Edmonton

The recommendations emphasize that public transit systems reflect the communities they serve and that issues such as homelessness, substance use, and mental health impact transit systems when left unaddressed.

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Multiple reports of stabbings have come over the last few months on transit systems including one that resulted in the death of a 16-year-old boy in Toronto last month.

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