Category: Transit Security
As a Transit Supervisor, Surinder Sahdra hears it all the time – police close off a bridge or traffic because someone’s about to jump. But for Surinder, who has been with the Coast Mountain Bus Company since 2000, he’s never had to pull someone back from the edge.
On a Thursday morning with rush hour traffic at its peak, Surinder responded to an incident near the Knight Street bridge where police had blocked off part of Marine Drive. The Transit Supervisor was helping police navigate traffic and buses through the road block when passing drivers on the opposite side of traffic began to honk at Surinder.
“Hey you, there’s a jumper on the bridge,” a woman yelled out her car window.
Stuck at his post, Surinder hoped someone would call for help. However, as the next few minutes passed, more drivers began yelling to Surinder, hoping to catch his attention. Surinder searched for another Transit Supervisor in the area who would be available to help, but the other Supervisor was tied up with another incident.
“I was fairly close and I was going in the same direction, so I thought I should check it out, just in case,” says Surinder.
As he drove over the Knight Street bridge, he spotted a man close to the Mitchell Island exit, straddling the railing of the bridge. Quickly, Surinder updated TComm, who let him know that 911 was now buzzing with numerous reports of someone about to jump.
“Nobody was stopping to help him, everyone was calling 911,” noted Surinder.
Surinder pulled up to the middle of the bridge and began talking to the man. He noticed there was a bottle of alcohol in the man’s back pocket that was almost empty. When asked if everything was okay, he told Surinder to go away.
“My instinct was, if I don’t grab him, he’s going to jump, and then I’ll regret it for the rest of my life,” remembers Surinder.
In a split-second decision, Surinder jumped over the concrete barrier and grabbed the man’s arm to hold him down, keeping TComm updated throughout. Another Transit Supervisor, Frank Liptak, was on the other side of the bridge. He heard what was happening and ran over to assist Surinder. Both supervisors were able to hold down the man and talk to him as he struggled, waiting for police to arrive.
“I’m not a hero by any means,” says Surinder. “I’m just trying to do my best while I’m on the road helping people.”
The Vancouver Police Department later informed TComm that Surinder’s actions – pulling the man off the railing – was the right thing to do. As a critical defuser and having recently received Mental Health First Aid Training, Surinder was able to apply some of this experience to help not only the man he assisted, but himself.
“I think some of those tools did come in handy when I was sitting with the man,” says Surinder, who admits he was a bit shaken. “Afterwards, you start thinking about what could’ve happened and who knows, he may not have jumped.”
Author: Priscilla Leung
Riding on the success of a 2015 pilot project, Transit Security’s Bike Patrol officers are back for a third season, acting as an important resource for Transit Operators, passengers and the public.
This year, the very visible Bike Patrol is once again based in downtown Vancouver with additional coverage expanding four out of every eight days to Scott Road, Surrey Central and Newton exchange.
- Starting today, from May to September, officers will work various shifts between 11:00 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.
- A total of seven participants are CAN-bike certified, which includes backup relief
- Bike Patrol will run rain or shine
This year’s team of seven trained General Security Patrol employees will work throughout downtown Vancouver and Surrey. It will be the first time that Transit Security Bike Patrol and Transit Police Neighbourhood Police Officers will be partnering in the Surrey area.
Security members receive a four-day bike-specific course to be CAN-bike certified, in addition to basic and advanced security training, and first-aid training. The training was designed for front-line security staff and was a combination of in-class and practical cycling training provided by Transit Police.
Putting our customers first
As always, our customers are important to us, and being on a bike allows Transit Security more opportunities to have meaningful, positive interactions with employees and the public. Having a more mobile security team also means they can easily travel on transit and can go places that are hard to access by vehicle. This means Transit Security can work more closely with the 42 bus routes that travel through the downtown core—boarding an average of more than 100 buses per day—attend to SeaBus and be proactive in security activities.
During the busy summer tourist season, Bike Patrol officers will also be an additional resource downtown to answer customer questions, and act as CMBC ambassadors. In-vehicle Transit Security officers will also be available, if required.
Please support our bike-riding, yellow-uniformed Transit Security officers with a friendly wave or hello when you see them. You’ll be happy you did.
Author: Adrienne Coling
In 2015, Bike Patrol hit the streets of downtown Vancouver as part of a four month trial.
Because it was such a success, Bike Patrol is back for a second season!
This year, Bike Patrol is stationed again in downtown Vancouver and will be attending some events in the Surrey Central area.
- From May to September, officers patrol in shifts between 11:00 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.
- A total of eight security personnel will be CAN-bike certified, which includes backup relief
- No fair-weather riders! Bike Patrol will run rain or shine.
While Bike Patrol is around to respond to emergencies, they do so much more!
They act as an important resource for transit operators, passengers and the public.
A more mobile security team will also give Transit Security the opportunity to go places where they are restricted in a car while reducing carbon emissions and vehicle costs.
On two wheels, they can work more closely with riders and employees alike at SeaBus, Waterfront Station and the 43 bus routes that travel through the downtown core.
Be on the lookout for Transit Security officers donning their bright yellow uniforms in downtown Vancouver!
Author: Jessica Hewitt
Remember Bike Patrol? The Buzzer covered the inception of this cool new Transit Security crew back in May.
That’s when Bike Patrol hit the streets in downtown Vancouver as part of a four month trial.
Six existing General Security Patrol officers traded their car for a bike and assisted front-line staff and customers downtown during daylight hours.
Each officer went through an intensive four-day training program to be CAN-bike certified.
Security officers had the opportunity to focus on fare inspections and security-related incidents, create a positive customer service experience first-hand and go places where they might otherwise be restricted by being in a car.
The trial is wrapping up on October 10, 2015 and Jessica Hewitt of CMBC checked in with staff to hear what they had to say about the experience.
Being able to be a part of the Transit Security Bike Patrol has been such a great experience. I feel I have greatly increased my contact with operators. Being on the bikes has us at eye level with operators, providing us with clear communication, giving us the ability to respond immediately to any situation. I can get to situations much faster, than if I was in a car.
– Trevor Handford, Transit Security
Bike Patrol has been a joy to perform and the comments we’ve received from operators has been positive. Many are glad to see us, tell us that we are welcome on their buses and that they love our uniforms (since we’re hard to miss!). I am very thankful for the training course that we went through before starting as without it I would’ve been less comfortable riding in the downtown core. I’ll be sad when it is over as this has been one of the best learning experiences at CMBC.
– Jessica Stennes, Transit Security
What’s next for Bike Patrol?
Transit Security is in the process of collecting data and feedback from staff.
We are also looking at statistics to determine reduced carbon emissions and vehicle costs, number of customer contacts, inspections and assistance to the public.
Have you encountered Bike Patrol on any downtown summer transit trips?
Let us know what you think of the program by commenting below!
Author: Adrienne Coling
He is a General Investigations Officer for Coast Mountain Bus Company.
Ajay takes pride in providing safety and security for employees and passengers.
As a part of the CMBC Transit Security team he handles non-criminal incidents and helps keep an eye on the system to make it a safer environment for everyone.
Ajay has worked for CMBC for the past 10 years and loves that his job makes a difference!
You keep us moving. Thank you!
Read more at translink.ca/youmoveus.
Did you know that Transit Security now has a Bike Patrol? Check out our Buzzer Blog post to get the inside scoop!
Author: Laura Tennant
Transit Security is going to be donning some new wheels this summer.
No, not new patrol cars but bikes!
Six volunteers from the Transit Security team signed up and suited up to be a part of the project.
Jessica Hewitt from Coast Mountain Bus Company was able to literally ride along during their first day of training.
She was kind enough to tell the Buzzer all about it so we can all be in-the-know!
Read on for the inside scoop from Jessica and meet two members of the Bike Patrol team.
Today marks the launch of Transit Security’s new Bike Patrol trial in downtown Vancouver. Recently, I had the opportunity to experience what Bike Patrol training was all about as I headed out for a full day’s worth of in-class instruction and cycling drills.
As a recreational cyclist and a triathlon enthusiast, I jumped at the chance, but knew I’d be far from qualified to be riding around Vancouver’s downtown core. I sat in on the first day of intensive training, but staffers still had three more days left, including a night ride in downtown Vancouver and a final exam before each of the six Transit Security members were CAN-bike certified.
The four days of training covered everything from traffic skills, bike maintenance and hours on the saddle riding through pylons, jumping curbs, signalling, gearing and so much more!
Meet Transit Security Bike Patrol members, Jessica and Dave
For the Bike Patrol, it’s not just about learning the rules of the road. Employees have to work in hectic conditions with cars, foot traffic and other cyclists. General Security Patrol officers Jessica Stennes and Dave Partridge both volunteered to be part of the new Bike Patrol.
“It’s a great opportunity to get outside and be active, while working with employees and customers first hand,” said Jessica. “A lot of what we do involves working with the public and getting them where they need to go.”
For Dave, he’s no rookie when it comes to cycling. An avid road cyclist and mountain biker, he often hits the trails in Whistler and had no trouble riding through the pylon courses in training on the first day.
“Bike Patrol provides the operators and the public with another level of safety and customer service on the transit system,” said Dave. “I’ll be able to respond to situations efficiently in the downtown area while doing something I love.”
Having a more mobile security team will provide an opportunity to go places where security can be restricted by being in a car. This means they can work more closely with the 43 bus routes that travel through the downtown core, attend to the SeaBus and engage in proactive security activities. They aim to make our employees and customers more safe and secure. They’ll also act as an additional resource to answer customer questions during the busy summer tourist season.
As for me, I enjoyed brushing up on my bike skills and learning just what it takes to be part of Bike Patrol for a day. It’s a big job to ride amongst traffic, know all the ways to get around the downtown core, and be first responders to transit incidents. And, that’s only a small part of what Transit Security deals with on a daily basis.
Be on the lookout for Jessica and Dave and other Bike Patrol members in downtown Vancouver this summer.
Things to know:
- All six bikes were borrowed from Transit Police and were fitted to each rider.
- Bikes will be stored at Waterfront Station and each member of patrol will meet at Waterfront before each shift.
- No fair-weather riders! Bike Patrol will run rain or shine!
Thanks for riding along and filling us in, Jessica!
You can see the team in training, in uniform AND being a first responder on their very first day at a fire in New Westminster in the gallery below.
Keep your eyes peeled (they’re hard to miss with all that neon yellow!) for the team out on the streets, around buses and the SeaBus in downtown Vancouver this summer.