Concerns raised about safety on Metro Vancouver transit after multiple stabbings

After multiple stabbings on Metro Vancouver transit this month, passengers tell Kier Junos what could help them feel safer on their trips around the Lower Mainland.

After multiple stabbings on Metro Vancouver transit this month, passengers are sharing their thoughts on what could help them feel safer when taking the bus or train.

Some people have told CityNews that having others around can make a big difference.

“Travelling with someone makes me feel safer,” one person explained.

“When I’m alone, nothing can save me,” another added.

the outside of the Columbia skytrain station, there have been multiple stabbings this month on metro vancouver transit prompting locals to be concerned about transit safety

Outside of the Columbia Station. (Kier Junos, CityNews Image)

Gordon Lovegrove, an associate professor with the University of British Columbia’s Sustainable Transport Safety Research Lab, says these recent episodes of violence are related to deteriorating mental health.

“The pandemic has introduced a confounding factor that is, I think, mental health related,” he said.

He adds that there is also “a lack of supports for our youth that are…committing these assaults.”

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Although Lovegrove says transit is very safe, he explains adding increased supervision is the right solution.

“Keep your eyes open, keep your head on, swivel, do what you can. And the times that you forget, or you can’t — the system has to come to your support,” he said.

Const. Amanda Steed, a media relations officer with the Metro Vancouver Transit Police (MVTP), says more officers will be on patrol as the MVTP is pulling officers from other departments to help out.

“Seeing more uniforms out on the system will hopefully deter more criminals from committing crimes. Again, it’s hard to predict violent, unprovoked assaults, but what we can do as police officers is empower people, passengers, on how to ensure that they’re an active participant in their safety,” she said.

Constable amanda steed talks in front of the metro vancouver transit police station. There have been concerns raised after multiple stabbings occurred on transit this month

Const. Amanda Steed with the Metro Vancouver Transit Police. (Kier Junos, CityNews Image)

She adds that locals should also be paying attention when riding transit.

“We’re sort of gone from those days where you could just put your headphones on, put your head down and just ignore [it].”

Another person told CityNews that they feel people could be more alert when riding.

“There could be a little bit more…alertness of the people who are getting onto the bus. Just to make sure that they’re not going to create any drama.”

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