Some council members want STM to create app to fight harassment

Oct 23 2018, 6:01 pm

The City of Montreal is urging the Société de Transport de Montréal (STM) to develop an app that will help combat harassment and assault of vulnerable people in the city’s public transit system.

Councillor Karine Boivin-Roy, leader of the Ensemble Montreal party, proposed the motion which was adopted in a unanimous decision by city council on Tuesday morning.

The mobile app would allow users to make reports in real-time and would be akin to the transit app that users currently have in Paris and Toronto. Users would be able to take photos and be connected to 911 emergency services.

The desire for the app comes at a time when 47 of Montreal’s 68 underground transit stations have full mobile connectivity.

The motion asks the STM to “intervene with people whose right to move freely without being harassed was not respected.”

The STM currently has a number of safety measures in place, such as allowing women who ride the bus at night to get out between stops.

Boivin-Roy claims the app would give authorities the ability to collect more data and build a database of offenders. She also recommends the STM launch a campaign to train employees to properly recognize and react to harassment situations.

The news release notes that women who file complaints of harassment inside the STM often go unsolved as the public transit network claims it’s impossible to find the culprits.

According to an online survey of 218 studied women from 2016-17, 147 claimed they had been harassed in the metro, 109 at a bus stop and 90 on a public bus.

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