City of Edmonton forced to spend more money each year in response to bus shelter vandalism

Click to play video: 'Repairing vandalized bus shelters costing Edmonton hundreds of thousands each year'
Repairing vandalized bus shelters costing Edmonton hundreds of thousands each year
WATCH ABOVE: In the last three years, it has cost the City of Edmonton over $1 million to repair vandalized bus shelters. But as Sarah Reid reports, Calgary has found a way to avoid fronting that cost. – Dec 14, 2022

There is still more than two weeks until the start of a new year but already, more bus shelter windows in Edmonton have needed replacing in 2022 than in the previous two years.

After the city confirmed last month that 145 Edmonton Transit Service bus shelters had their glass smashed in less than a week, Global News requested more information from the city.

READ MORE: 145 bus shelters across Edmonton smashed in one week

In an email on Wednesday, the city said 1,316 bus shelter windows have been broken in 2022 (as of Nov. 30), up from 1,273 in 2021 and 1,075 in 2020.

“The majority of the broken windows are caused by vandalism,” Trevor Dennehy, the director of LRT operations and maintenance, said in an email. “There is room within the bus shelter frames for the glazing to expand and contract with the change in temperatures.”

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Dennehy noted the “senseless act” of smashing bus shelter windows impacts everyone “at a time when finances are already constrained.”

“Every Edmontonian pays for these repair costs,” he said.

Coun. Andrew Knack acknowledged that “everyone is frustrated.”

Bus shelter repairs in 2022 have already required the city to spend an estimated $400,000, up from about $394,000 in 2021 and $320,000 in 2020. Over the last three years, when combining the cost of replacing broken glass and cleaning up graffiti has exceeded $1 million.

Knack said the city continues to discuss ways of saving money on bus shelter repairs. One idea had been to try to use a more durable version of glass.

“(But) when they did the math, and then they figured out what works best, it’s better to still use tempered glass,” he said. “That’s still less expensive than paying for an acrylic glass that’s really hard to break but then has higher costs in other areas.”

–With files from Sarah Reid, Global News

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