London Transit Commission to consider new safety app

Marty Thompson/980 CFPL

The London Transit Commission (LTC) is looking to upgrade its Transecure program, which may include the implementation of a new online application.

The commission is aiming to update, rebrand and relaunch the program following an increase in rider harassment.

“When we decided to re-look at the Transecure program, it was more about people feeling uncomfortable,” said LTC general manager Kelly Paleczny.

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“It could be harassment, it could be anything that makes our customers feel uncomfortable while they’re onboard the bus.”

The Transecure program was first introduced in 1993 to create awareness for rider safety issues. Occurrences of harassment have increased in recent years with an estimated two incidents per week.

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The LTC released a survey that showed rider safety was the top concern, ahead of bus arrival times. One measure that is being considered to increase safety is the implementation of an online app that would be similar to the one used in Ottawa.

“The intent of this type of program would be somebody that’s sitting on a bus who doesn’t necessarily feel comfortable getting up and talking to an operator, it’s something that they can do discretely on their phone to report something, without making a spectacle of it,” said Paleczny.

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The app would make it possible for customers to share a photo and detailed complaint directly to the LTC for investigation. The app could also be expanded to report issues with a bus or bus stop.

City buses were equipped with onboard audio and video recording in 2011, which records all activity while a bus is in operation. The video is made available to London police for investigations.

The Commission is planning to launch its updated security program in the fall.