Saskatoon is investigating reports of violence on city buses

Saskatoon City Council has commissioned a report on the extent of violence in the city’s transit system.

The request follows a motion by the Ward 3 Coun. David Kirton to put security guards on buses.

“I want to make sure we have safe service as well,” Kirton said. “It’s not just the operators that worry me, it’s the riders as well.”

Kirton said he heard of violence against bus drivers and passengers.

“We had operators who were restrained with a screwdriver in the ribs, a passenger recently stabbed in the downtown terminal. There are mass attacks in the downtown terminal and on the buses. I had a report from another operator where an operator was assaulted with the bus radio handset,” he said.

“There are angry passengers who will actually break buses.”

He said there are reports of windows being smashed and smashed on buses by firearms, possibly a pellet gun.

“There have been multiple times bus operators and passengers have been threatened with this violence,” Kirton said.

“I want to make sure we have a clean, reliable and safe public transit system.”

Bus Riders of Saskatoon spokesman Robert Clipperton told CTV News the group has already advocated for transit officers.

“What we thought was you got two or maybe four officers all over town,” Clipperton said. “Some of the larger urban centers with a rapid transit system often have agents who are on the outside. Agents randomly checking rates, as opposed to someone collecting rates all the time. And we thought that kind of model could work very well.

Although Kirton’s motion did not pass, the council requested a report on the extent of the violence on the buses.

Kirton said the internal comptroller is investigating and will prepare a report for the board at some point in the future.

“Basically, this motion asks the administration for information on the extent of the violence. Give us statistics on this instead of my anecdotal efforts to show people what’s going on on our buses.

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