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Category: Transit Police

More about our SkyTrain system safety features

One of our SkyTrain Attendants helping out a customer at Lougheed Town Centre Station

One of our SkyTrain Attendants helping out a customer at Lougheed Town Centre Station

Have you ever wondered about the yellow strip onboard SkyTrain? Wonder no more!

We are here to tell you more about the five main safety features on SkyTrain – the passenger silent alarm, speakerphone, designated waiting areas, emergency cabinets, and Transit Police‘s 87-77-77 non-emergency text reporting service.

Passenger Silent Alarm – also known as the Yellow Strip

The 'yellow strip' silent alarm found on every window on SkyTrain

The ‘yellow strip’ silent alarm found on every window on SkyTrain

The passenger silent alarm is the yellow strip located on every window on-board our SkyTrain cars.

When pressed by passengers, it triggers an alarm at SkyTrain control alerting the Control Operator. A SkyTrain Attendant will board the train at the next attended station to investigate the situation.

Our attendants are trained to provide customer service, provide emergency response, troubleshooting train and station operations, and performing fare inspections.

To better assess the situation and determine an appropriate response, SkyTrain control has the ability to activate the speakerphones on-board and listen in on the activities in that car.

It’s important to note that pressing the yellow strip does not stop the train or directly alert Transit Police.

Speakerphone

The SkyTrain speakerphone found on board all cars near the doors.

The SkyTrain speakerphone found on board all cars near the doors

The speakerphone is located inside each car near the doors and provides two-way voice communication with SkyTrain control operators for emergency assistance.

All the passenger needs to do is press the ‘red’ button on the speakerphone and they’ll be directly connected with SkyTrain control.

Activating the speakerphone does not stop the train or directly alert Transit Police.

During system-wide disruptions, passengers can use the speakerphone to communicate with SkyTrain control for emergency assistance.

Passengers should not force open SkyTrain doors as this is a dangerous practice. Portions of the track remain charged with 600 volts of power and the risk of electrocution is present even when the train is stopped.

Forcing SkyTrain doors open can lead to lengthier delays since, for the safety of passengers that have exited, power has to be shut down and then a safety sweep has to be conducted before the system can be powered back on.

Designated Waiting Areas and Emergency Cabinets

A designated waiting area and emergency cabinet at Sapperton Station

A designated waiting area and emergency cabinet at Sapperton Station

Designated Waiting Areas have enhanced lighting, red emergency telephones, a bench, and are monitored by closed-circuit television.

Emergency Cabinets are located on SkyTrain platforms and are equipped with a fire extinguisher and emergency train stop buttons along with a red emergency telephone.

Like our on-board speakerphone, the red emergency phone is a direct line to SkyTrain control for emergency assistance.

Pushing the emergency train stop button does not shut down power on the SkyTrain tracks, so passengers should never enter the track area even if the emergency stop has been pushed and the train has stopped.

87-77-77 Texting Service

Transit Police 87-77-77 Texting Service

Text 87.77.77

The Transit Police report-by-text (SMS) system allows passengers to discreetly report crime and suspicious activity on and related to transit without drawing attention to themselves.

Messages will be received immediately by Transit Police dispatchers and they will respond accordingly. They may dispatch an officer, ask the user to call 911 if it is an emergency, or refer them to other resources.

You can also use the Transit Police OnDuty app to report. Through its built-in text messaging function, users will be able to access the 87-77-77 service directly from the app.

There is no need to draw attention to yourself and you don’t have to wait to report crime on transit. The texting service is for discreet reporting across the transit system — not just on the SkyTrain.

Have any questions about our safety features? Ask away in the comments section and we’ll get you the answers!

Author: Allen Tung

Halloween safety tips from Transit Police

When taking part in Halloween festivities this weekend, Transit Police is reminding everyone to take a few precautions to ensure you enjoy the night safely.

Here are some tips:

  • Take extra care when choosing a Halloween costume. Ask yourself, could this prop be easily mistaken for the real thing? If so, how might it put your safety at risk if the police are called? If in doubt, leave it at home.

 

  • Consumption of liquor in public is illegal. This includes at SkyTrain stations and on-board buses, SkyTrain, and SeaBus, If you are carrying liquor on transit, ensure it remains closed until you arrive at your private destination.

 

  • Stay alert to your surroundings while on public transit. Keep valuables out of sight from others. Avoid being engrossed in your electronic device.

 

  • Plan ahead for a safe ride home. Make note of key times such as the last trip of the night. The last Expo Line train to King George Station leaves Waterfront Station at 1:16 am, Mondays through Saturdays, and at 12:15 am on Sundays and holidays. The last Canada Line train to Richmond-Brighouse Station departs Waterfront Station at 1:15 am, seven days a week.

 

  • If travelling in a group, establish a meeting place in the event you are separated. 

 

  • Be visible. Wear bright costumes or include reflective tape, glow sticks, or other articles that improve visibility.

 

  • Use face paint or make‐up instead of a mask. If you must wear a mask, enlarge the eyes for better vision and push it back off your face when you are walking in and around train stations, and in busy pedestrian areas.

Stay connected to Transit Police through the free OnDuty app. Report any suspicious events or safety concerns on public transit to Transit Police’s non-emergency line. Text 87‐77‐77 (standard carrier rates may apply) or call 604‐515‐8300. In emergencies, always call 911.

Author: Allen Tung

Stay Connected to Transit Police with the new OnDuty Mobile App

Metro Vancouver Transit Police have released OnDuty, a new mobile app that will connect you with all Transit Police’s channels in the palm of your hand.

If you see something, while riding transit, say something! Through the app’s built-in text messaging function, users will be able to discreetly report non-emergency issues to Transit Police dispatch. There is no need to draw attention to yourself and you don’t have to wait to report crime on transit.

The OnDuty app’s Crime Maps feature will allow you to view crime hotspots along the transit system. Transit Police will be updating crime maps section weekly, so you can have a better, up-to-date understanding of where and when crime occurs.

Stay connected to the Transit Police’s Twitter and Facebook pages and real-time alerts will keep you informed about public safety concerns, missing persons or major service disruptions. You will also be able to access TransLink’s Next Bus and Trip Planner features directly from the app!

The OnDuty app, for iOS and Android devices, is free and is now available in the App Store and Google Play.

 

*This app is for non-emergency reporting only. For emergencies, please call 911.

Author: Allen Tung

TransLink in the media: Don’t Touch the Operator

Constable Goodmurphy

Constable Goodmurphy

The safety of our riders and our employees is a top priority for TransLink. This is why today the Metro Vancouver Transit Police launched, Don’t Touch the Operator. This awareness campaign is aimed at those who use our system, but may not have the best intentions for our operators in mind.

With 1800 buses operating in Metro Vancouver and 233 million passenger boardings a year, there’s a lot of activity on our transit system. Although most of the interactions between riders and operators are positive ones, unfortunately, some aren’t and have been in the news of late.

Everyday our operators safely help to deliver this huge volume of people to where they need. But as Constable Kevin Goodmurphy said in the Transit Police media event today, “Violence on transit affects operators and customers” and it needs to stop.

Constable Goodmurphy also mentioned that riders can also help keep the system safe by reporting unacceptable behaviour. This can can be done by calling 911 in an emergency or texting 87-77-77 for non-emergencies. The above video also shows what other measures are being used to make sure our buses are as safe as possible.

I’m curious to know if any of you have called 911 or used the Transit Police texting service to report a transit related situation? Let’s share our experiences so we all can work to make the system as safe as possible!

Safety decals on buses

Safety decals on buses

Olympic security tip: stay alert for pickpockets

One of the new security ads now on our system!

One of the new security ads now on our system!

You may notice some new ads on the system, urging you to stay alert for pickpockets during the Olympic period.

Our Transit Police are hoping to let people know that professional pickpockets are expected at the Olympics—they tend to flock to international events on this scale.

“We don’t want people to be paranoid,” said Sgt. Mark Applejohn with the Transit Police. “But we’re coming from the angle that to be forewarned is to be forearmed.”

I asked Sgt. Applejohn if he had any tips, and he suggested that you keep your valuables close, and be aware of your surroundings, especially in large crowds.

He also said that pickpocketers tend to work in partnerships, with one person distracting you while another goes through your purse or pockets. One may take your wallet and pass it to a confederate before you’ve noticed.

“A well-known scheme in Europe uses young children to distract older people,” he said.

Pickpockets may also cut the straps of a purse or cut open the bottom of your bag.

“They’re extremely good at it, and that’s why to combat this kind of thing, we want you to be aware of what kind of things they do.”

Sgt. Applejohn also suggests that you do report any pickpocketing incidents to 604-515-8300—the Transit Police will act on it and won’t take it lightly.

A few other items….

There’s also a few other messages going up along with the pickpocket notices, such as:

  • Separated from your party while on transit? Before you travel, come up with a plan in case this happens, especially if you have kids. Maybe you can get off at the next station, or your children might be advised to stay put in a meeting place. Remember you can use the security phones in the stations, and SkyTrain attendants and security staff will help get you all back together.
  • Look out for unattended packages! Call the Transit Police if there’s something you want to report: 604-515-8300. Or you can send the Transit Police an anonymous text through their new Crimestoppers line in BC: text to 274637 and include the keyword “BCTIP”.

A few tidbits you might be interested in…

In tidbits today, the Transit Police have released their 2008 Report to the Community.

In tidbits today, the Transit Police have released their 2008 Report to the Community.

I have several tidbits on hand that I just haven’t been able to get on the blog in the past few weeks. So here’s a roundup post that has them all in one place.

  • Rail Talk #3 is now online! If you don’t know, Rail Talk is a regular web conference hosted by Doug Kelsey, President and CEO of SkyTrain, where he responds to live questions from TransLink Listens panel members on SkyTrain’s current issues. The theme of this Rail Talk is Olympic transportation. (Go here for links to Rail Talk 1 & 2.)
  • Our Transit Police released their 2008 Report to the Community a little while back. As Chief Ward Clapham describes, the report shows the continued development and scope of our young police service and the contribution they make to safety and security of the transit system and Metro Vancouver. Chief Clapham says he is proud of the initiatives and accomplishments of the Transit Police staff, particularly during this past year of rapid growth and change.
  • The media section of the TransLink website now has its own RSS feed. (And more feeds for alerts and such are coming in phase 2 of development for the TransLink website this year!)

Transit police shave heads for charity

Transit police officers Cst. Keith Grace and Bernard Florido had their heads shaved for charity this weekend.

Transit police officers Cst. Keith Grace and Bernard Florido had their heads shaved for charity this weekend.

Our colleagues over at the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Service sent along a note about two of their officers, who had their heads shaved for charity this weekend.

Cst. Keith Grace and Bernard Florido went down to an event called the Baldy Bash in Las Vegas, participating to raise money for PEP, an organization of professionals helping parents and families of very sick children.

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