The STM announces additional measures to improve safety and maintenance in the métro.
Montréal, May 4, 2023 – Concerned about the sense of security among its customers and employees, and determined to act to maintain the appeal of public transit, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) is announcing new measures in two priority areas: security and maintenance. These measures aim to respond appropriately to the situation by addressing key aspects of the travel and work experience of STM customers and employees.
“Although the Montréal métro is safe, we must act in the face of social issues that are increasingly present on our network,” said Marie-Claude Léonard, CEO of the STM. “These measures are designed to increase the visibility of staff, keep stations clean, adequately protect critical locations, and strengthen the STM’s ability to intervene. To this end, in addition to increasing the number of staff in key positions, we are thinking outside the box and creating a new team of safety ambassadors, a first in the history of the Montréal métro.”
A new role for a new reality
The creation of a new team of around 20 safety ambassadors is inspired by similar programs in major North American networks such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Philadelphia. The role of safety ambassador is a new, hybrid position between security and operations. Ambassadors will receive 80 hours of specific training to prepare them for a variety of situations that they may be called upon to handle (identifying safety issues, supporting major events, providing customer assistance, etc.). Wearing a special uniform, the safety ambassadors will be present on the métro network starting in summer 2023 to guide, assist and provide tailored support to customers and employees.
More special constables
The STM’s special constables play a key role as they are at the forefront of ensuring a safe and pleasant travel experience. The STM will increase the number of special constables on its premises, with new cohorts planned for 2023 and 2024, ultimately adding around 20 more constables. This will enable the STM to effectively manage its workforce to increase its presence in key areas in partnership with the SPVM and strengthen its capacity to intervene across the network.
The changing profile of people passing through or seeking refuge on the métro network has a significant impact on the essential work of custodial employees, requiring an update of the methods used to keep métro stations clean. To this end, the STM is looking to fill about 20 new positions this summer. The planned increase in staffing, combined with an increased presence of special constables on the ground, will help custodial employees do their job more efficiently, using methods and routines adapted to the current situation. This will improve cleaning operations at the most problematic stations, especially downtown, during the day, evenings and weekends.
A changing approach
As part of the winter plan, the STM and its partners have already put in place a number of specific measures to provide adapted support for vulnerable people and promote peaceful coexistence. In recent months, the STM has already made targeted improvements to these measures, increasing the number of constables in problem areas, such as Berri-UQAM, and improving monitoring by installing cameras throughout the network.
“Our customers and employees must feel absolutely safe on our transit network,” said Éric Alan Caldwell, Chair of the STM Board of Directors. “We are confident that the measures announced today will help make a difference, but we need to do more, and we are committed to doing so together with our partners and key community stakeholders. This comprehensive, concerted approach is needed to tackle the root causes of the problems and not just the symptoms.”