September 14, 2023
The City of Edmonton is using $5 million of provincial funding to make system-wide improvements to the safety and cleanliness of transit spaces.
The funding will support several City initiatives, including the renovation of two vacant cafes into work stations, as well as system-wide improvements to LRT stations. These improvements will include more frequent cleaning, upgrades to more than 700 doors and windows to prevent property damage, and approximately 25 new security cameras to improve security coverage.
“Safety is a shared responsibility, and this investment is a blueprint for how we can work together,” said Mayor Amarjeet Sohi. “Each of these projects will make a tangible difference, and also reflects the collaborative work happening across the transit system.”
A former cafe on the south end of Churchill Square will serve as a new deployment hub for City of Edmonton peace officers, and a collaborative space for Transit Peace Officers (TPOs) to work with Edmonton Police Service (EPS) Transit Community Safety teams (TRACS). There are currently three TRACS teams, each consisting of seven police officers who work within LRT stations and other transit hubs.
“EPS TRACS officers and TPOs have been working together for several months,” said Insp. Angela Kemp, Crime Suppression Branch, EPS. “We still have work to do, but our presence is beginning to make a positive impact on transit safety and we will continue to keep our efforts up.”
In 2024, another former cafe inside the Central LRT Station will become a work space for the Community Outreach Transit Team (COTT), a partnership between the City of Edmonton and Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society that pairs Transit Peace Officers and outreach workers.
“When vulnerable people turn to transit spaces, COTT offers a compassionate approach focused on solutions,” said Robbie Kaboni, Manager of COTT Outreach Workers, Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society. “This permanent station will create a space to build on established trust, helping bridge people to outside supports.”
Other projects include targeted investments around LRT stations:
Southgate LRT Station: Steps will be taken to improve visibility between the station and the neighbourhood, including landscaping improvements. A new art installation will improve vibrancy.
Central LRT Station: Enhancements of MacDonald Drive between 100 and 101 Street - including painted benches, picnic tables, lighting and planters - will make the space near the station more inviting for people connecting to and from transit.
Corona and/or MacEwan LRT Station: Improved lighting and design elements will be added to improve overall appearance and reduce vandalism.
“Transit safety is a journey, and we’re working every day to improve the experience for Edmontonians,” said Duane Hunter, Director, Transit Safety. “These investments are helping us accelerate and expand work that is already underway, and most importantly, reflect what we’ve heard from communities, businesses and other partners.”
The Alberta Transit System Cleanup Grant is a one-time provincial grant to help transit systems in Edmonton and Calgary.