For Immediate Release
January 17, 2008
RICHMOND – Canada Line safety concerns that were expressed by Richmond First City Councillors in December 2006 have been confirmed by a new report issued by Richmond RCMP, Richmond City Councillors Derek Dang and Bill McNulty said today.
“In December 2006 we brought to light a number of possible “crime generators” from the operation of the Canada Line as indicated by the RCMP,” said Councillor Dang. “This report is a vindication of our claims and shows that more still needs to be done to ensure they are addressed.”
The Richmond RCMP’s new ‘Canada Line Community Security Plan’ was publicly released this week during a meeting of the City’s community safety committee. The plan pointed to research undertaken by the RCMP that studied the impact on crime and policing of the Millennium SkyTrain line in Burnaby. The RCMP’s research showed that crime increased 10% to 44% over five Burnaby stations, and when extrapolated to Richmond it indicated a need for up to 14 new officers to patrol the Canada Line.
“The Canada Line is a fantastic project for the environment and for our residents,” said Councillor McNulty. “But when we’re only planning for four new officers when the system opens, it shows more may need to be done to prevent a predicted ‘Crime Train’ from coming to pass.”
Richmond First Councillors have previously brought up the need for increased visibility and lighting of stations and guideways, the need to include down escalators at all Richmond stations and the installation of fare paid turnstiles. Since this time, some progress has been made but there is still potential for more to be done.
“The Province has stepped up with their new Provincial Transit Plan to say they will be installing fare gates along rapid transit routes and we want to ensure the Canada Line is equipped from the outset,” said Councillor Dang. “Looking else where in the world we can clearly see that the installation of this technology works and we applaud the Province for recognizing it’s impact.”
“We’re certainly moving in the right direction to address our concerns,” said Councillor McNulty. “This report and the new plan from the Richmond RCMP should act as a wake-up call to ensure we keep our eye on the ball as we move toward project completion in 2009.”
The Canada Line is on-time and on-budget to be open in November 2009. The 19-kilometer line is expected to attract a daily ridership of 100,000 people, or approximately 38-million riders per year.