The city is using a one-time grant from the Government of Alberta to make Edmonton transit stations safer and cleaner.
The $5-million grant will be used to renovate two vacant cafes near or in Edmonton Transit Service LRT stations and convert them to work stations for officers or outreach teams.
The money will also be spent on “system-wide improvements to LRT stations,” the city said, including more frequent cleaning, upgrades to more than 700 doors and windows to prevent property damage, and approximately 25 new security cameras.
The former Three Bananas Café at the south end of Churchill Square will be turned into a deployment hub and work space for city peace officers, transit peace officers (TPOs) and the Edmonton Police Service Transit Community Safety Teams (TRACS).
Right now, there are three teams — each one with seven police officers — that work in LRT stations and other transit hubs.
“EPS TRACS officers and TPOs have been working together for several months,” said Insp. Angela Kemp, an officer with EPS’ Crime Suppression Branch. “We still have work to do, but our presence is beginning to make a positive impact on transit safety and we will continue to keep our efforts up.”
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In 2024, another former café inside Central LRT Station will be renovated and turned into a work space for the Community Outreach Transit Team (COTT), which pairs transit peace officers and outreach workers.
It’s a partnership between the city and Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society.
“When vulnerable people turn to transit spaces, COTT offers a compassionate approach focused on solutions,” said Robbie Kaboni, manager of COTT Outreach Workers, Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society.
“This permanent station will create a space to build on established trust, helping bridge people to outside supports.”
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Other work around LRT stations:
- Improve visibility between Southgate LRT station and neighbourhood, including landscaping improvements. “A new art installation will improve vibrancy,” the city said.
- Enhancements of MacDonald Drive between 100 and 101 streets — including painted benches, picnic tables, lighting and planters — will improve the space around Central LRT Station.
- Improved lighting and design elements will be added to improve overall appearance and reduce vandalism at Corona and/or MacEwan LRT Station.
The Alberta Transit System Cleanup Grant is a one-time provincial grant to help transit systems in Edmonton and Calgary.
“Safety is a shared responsibility, and this investment is a blueprint for how we can work together,” said Mayor Amarjeet Sohi. “Each of these projects will make a tangible difference, and also reflects the collaborative work happening across the transit system.”
“We’re working every day to improve the experience for Edmontonians,” said Duane Hunter, director of transit safety with the City of Edmonton.
“These investments are helping us accelerate and expand work that is already underway, and most importantly, reflect what we’ve heard from communities, businesses and other partners.”
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