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Montreal metro riders raise safety concerns as complaints to STM transit agency triple

Click to play video: 'Montreal metro user complaints triple what they were last year'
Montreal metro user complaints triple what they were last year
A growing number of people are concerned about using Montreal's metro system. The number of complaints has tripled in the last year, according to the Société de Transport de Montréal. Homelessness and drug use were among the top concerns. But as Global’s Tim Sargeant reports, there is no quick-fix solution – Mar 22, 2024

The number of complaints registered on Montreal’s STM metro system have more than tripled, according to an article in La Presse and confirmed by the STM to Global News.

More than 1,300 complaints were made in 2023, three times the annual average of 377.

Most of the complaints are related to people experiencing homelessness in the metros and drug use.

Specialized STM security agents patrol the metros to intervene in non-violent cases and police officers from 16 stations respond to emergency calls.

But police officers no longer patrol the metros on a regular basis, a big mistake according to some city councillors.

”They should put some more extra money for this. More specialized people for this. More police officers,” Aref Salem, the opposition leader at Montreal city hall, said.

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Click to play video: 'Montreal metro gets more tailored teams for police patrol'
Montreal metro gets more tailored teams for police patrol

Salem insists removing police officers has removed a deterrent to crime.

”If you want the people to go to the metro and take the bus, we have to make sure we’re giving them a safe place to go,” he said.

But adding more officers to the metros isn’t the solution, according to Sam Watts, the CEO of the Welcome Hall Mission.

Watts, who runs the homeless shelter, insists dealing the with the root cause — building or finding more affordable housing for the city’s most vulnerable population — would go a long way to help.

”Let’s make some better decisions and head in a different direction,” Watts said.

A public transit advocate agrees.

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”The cities and the government should put more resources for homeless people in the city,” François Pepin of Trajectoire Québec, told Global News.

 

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