Saskatoon Transit frontline employee and customer safety initiatives

For immediate release: June 13, 2024 - 11:00 am

Every employee deserves to feel safe at work and Saskatoon Transit is actively taking measures to provide a safe environment for frontline employees and customers.

Saskatoon Transit is working with the Saskatoon Police Service (SPS), Saskatoon Fire Department (SFD), Amalgamated Transit Union Local 615 (ATU) and other community stakeholders to address concerns with transit bus and facility safety. This work is being done as part of a larger community safety strategy throughout our community that the City of Saskatoon, SPS and SFD are actively rolling out.

Bus operators, supervisors and customer service employees have been exposed to more aggressive and violent incidents this spring. Since the beginning of May, Saskatoon Transit has increased security patrols at the Downtown, Confederation Mall and Market Mall transit terminals along with additional supervisor ride-alongs with operators to have an increased uniformed presence on buses and at facilities.

Several other initiatives are underway as part of the Saskatoon Transit Frontline Employee Safety Plan to improve safety on buses and at terminals for employees and riders. The plan will enhance security, improve internal processes, expand employee training, augment mental health support for employees following an incident, strengthen coordination with emergency services and build a stronger culture of safety at Saskatoon Transit. Initiatives include:

  1. Streamlined process for reporting an incident to SPS to assist the incident investigation.
  2. Deployment of the Fire Community Support team to bus terminals and on bus routes with a higher number of reported incidents.
  3. Running a public marketing campaign featuring frontline employees from Saskatoon Transit to increase the profile of bus operators in the community.
  4. Developing a process to ban a problem customer from Saskatoon Transit buses and facilities.
  5. Exploring the feasibility of installing CCTV cameras at the Downtown and Confederation Mall terminals.
  6. Rolling out the new Workplace Violence Prevention Policy and updated Respectful and Harassment-free Workplace process and introducing the new Corporate Customer Conduct Standard.
  7. Developing and delivering new customer service and de-escalation training for frontline Saskatoon Transit employees.
  8. Enhanced mental health support for Saskatoon Transit employees.
  9. Advocating for tougher sentences under the Criminal Code for assaults against a Saskatoon Transit employee.

Saskatoon Transit will continue to protect its employees and customers through these new initiatives and by working closely with SPS, SFD, ATU and other community stakeholders on the "One City" approach to Community Safety and Wellbeing strategy.

In addition to these new initiatives, all buses have a protective operator barrier and CCTV cameras with visible signage to inform passengers that their actions are being recorded.