Happy New Year!

Many thanks from us at this here blog for your submissions and your support this year. While we hope that future developments and improvements in policy and safety measures (to say nothing of a utopia where harassment of all kinds ceases to exist!) renders this site eventually obsolete, we pledge to keep this going as long as it’s needed.

For those of you going out on the town tonight, we wanted to offer some information about Translink services on one of the busiest transit nights of the year in Metro Vancouver!

Translink services are completely free between 5pm this evening (Jan 31st) and 5am tomorrow morning (Jan 1). So there is absolutely zero excuse to get behind the wheel after imbibing your party potion of choice! Train service is extended by an hour in most directions, but please check here: http://www.translink.ca/en/Schedules-and-Maps/Holiday-Service.aspx for specific service details. Night buses are, as ever, in operation, and some non-night busses have special extended schedules to accommodate party people (who are ready to rock).

Now, riding the rails (or buses) with copious amounts of intoxicated people can be a somewhat harrowing experience. In an ideal world, prevention would focus solely on the perpetrators of harassment and violence, but we are unfortunately not living in an ideal world.

IF SOMEONE IS HARASSING, THREATENING, ASSAULTING YOU OR SOMEONE ELSE, there is recourse and we encourage you to escalate the situation if you believe it is safe to do so.

If you’re on a bus, speak to the driver. They have a direct line to security higher-ups, and they are committed to your safety.

If you’re on a train, there are numerous safety features, copied from the Translink site:

  • The on-train Passenger Silent Alarm is a yellow strip above every window, which allows passengers to silently alert SkyTrain control operators in the event of a security concern. Help will be on the scene as soon as possible.
  • The on-train Speakerphone is located inside each car near the doors. Speakerphones provide two-way voice communication with SkyTrain control operators for urgent assistance.
  • The in-station Designated Waiting Areas are located on all platforms. These areas have enhanced lighting, red emergency telephones and a bench, and are monitored by closed-circuit television.
  • The in-station Emergency Cabinets are located on SkyTrain platforms and are equipped with a red emergency telephone, fire extinguisher and emergency train stop buttons.
  • Closed-circuit TV monitors platforms, elevators, escalators and ticket concourse areas. This provides effective station surveillance and the opportunity to record suspicious activity or crime in progress, and to respond to system emergencies.

If there is an emergency where someone’s safety is being immediately threatened, please call 911.

Any other situation that requires intervention should be escalated to the transit police, who can be reached at 604-515-8300.

If you are concerned about someone’s behaviour, or if there is verbal harassment happening, we encourage you to use a phone’s camera feature to take a photo of the perpetrator. While we would typically discourage taking photos of anyone without their permission, in situations where someone is clearly committing a personal violation or crime, this can be a huge help in further prosecution.

Lastly, if you notice a difficult situation brewing, but you are afraid of using an obvious method to contact the authorities, you can tweet your bus # or train # to https://twitter.com/TransLink and they may be able to help. This is not the ideal method, but it is *something* and their twitter staff is tremendously timely and helpful. They can also pull you out of a jam if you find yourself lost.

Have a safe and happy new year!

**UPDATE – Const. Graham Walker tells us that you can text the Transit Police at 87-77-77 with any reports or concerns this evening, or any other time.


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