Insider Perspective (and info)

I read the article in metro news and wanted to write in. I work on Skytrain, but I’m writing as a woman who has been harassed both on and off the job. These are my opinions since I can’t speak for the company. First it would be really good information for women riding Skytrain to know that there are silent alarms on all trains. Look for the yellow strips around the window. Additionally all cars have a button for verbal contact with the control centre. You can find them by the door, they look like speakers with a red button at the bottom. All platforms and most ticket vending areas also have emergency phones in the cabinets, they are labeled, but check out the stations you frequent and know where they are. The stations also have cameras from one end to the other so you are safer waiting inside the station. Once compass is up and running you will be required to “tap out”, this does not mean you have to leave. You can tap out to finish your trip while remaining in the station. Tap again after a couple minutes as if you came back in (you have to give it a couple minutes) you now have 20 minutes to hang out. We have so many retail outlets and people cutting through the stations that you have a 20 minute grace period for no charge to the compass as long as you tap out of the same station (not necessarily the same exit).

Now to my own experience.  I used to just take this crap and not raise a fuss but as I’ve gotten older (44) Ive gotten less polite. We as women and girls should not have to put up with crap but it’s out there and sooner or later it comes to all of us. Depending on your confidence and how safe you feel be loud. On a crowded train in uniform some jerk grabbed my butt and gave it a good squeeze. I grabbed for his/her hand but missed and wasn’t sure enough to make accusations. In a loud voice I said “a crowded train is not a tits and ass buffet. Whoever just grabbed my ass keep your hands to yourself “. Lots of women don’t feel safe or confident enough to do that but get up and walk away if you can. Go to an adjoining car. Get off and wait for the next train. Most bus drivers I’ve met are very nice too, if someone is being a jerk go up and stand beside the driver. Tell him or her “that guy/girl wearing such and such is being a creep so I’m going to stand here were I feel safe” depending on what that person has done a call can be put through coms to police. Or call 911. Every car on skytrain and bus has a unique number. Tell the operator were you are and what car/bus too. I’m always happy to walk a woman to her car or hang out until her ride comes so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Again this is just me as myself not as a representative of skytrain. I hope this helps some people because transit is a great way to get around and I hate to think some total jerks are spoiling it for the women in the GVRD

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