Brescia student study finds safety main concern among London transit riders

The LTC says passengers must enter through the rear door between March 20 and April 5. Marty Thompson / 980 CFPL

A Brescia student’s study of safety on London’s transit system shows there is a rising concern over safety among transit riders, particularly among females.

READ MORE: LTC survey finds many riders deal with unwanted contact

Brittany Ennis, 20, polled university students about their public transit experiences. Half the females surveyed cited stalking as an issue on London Transit Commission buses, with nearly 70 per cent stating they felt unsafe taking the bus alone at night.

“I tried talking to my friends who walk home alone late at night and sometimes they do feel unsafe,” Ennis told 980 CFPL.

“I told them that they could ask for a courtesy stop and that’s definitely something they didn’t know either. This really got me thinking about public transportation and security — how safe do people feel? How aware are people of the safety procedures that exist?”

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The study found that 80 per cent of those surveyed didn’t know the courtesy stop initiative even existed.

READ MORE: London Transit Commission to consider new safety app

“That’s something that I don’t think LTC necessarily wants to advertise too much because it’s something that could be abused really easily,” Ennis acknowledged.

“It is important that people know about this because in the comments, when I was asking the open-ended questions, people were saying that they either got off early to avoid someone that may be bothering them on the bus or alternatively they stay on longer, past the stop that they want to get off at.”

Ennis proposed several solutions to address the concerns, like adding more lighting at bus stops or additional panels at stops to illustrate when buses are coming.

The survey of just over 700 students was conducted as part of a class Ennis was enrolled in that involved a partnership between Brescia, King’s University College, and the City of London. LTC chair Sheryl Rooth was paired with Ennis as her mentor.

with files from 980 CFPL’s Jake Jeffrey.

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