Transit Police force size will not grow to cover Evergreen Line

The future of our Transit Police remains up for debate, but TransLink says one decision has been made.

CEO Ian Jarvis says the size of the force won’t go up to cover the Evergreen Line when it opens three years from now.

“There’s been a decision now not to add a complement with respect to the Evergreen Line coming on, which is an additional six stations. We plan to police the rail network consistent with the complement we have now,” he tells us.

As for the larger question about the force’s future once the Compass Card comes into effect, TransLink’s Ian Jarvis says discussions continue.

“There’s still a need for a security and police presence on the system, but certainly with less resources applied to fare checking, that makes those resources available to address other needs,” he explains.

Jarvis suggests buses and bus loops could become more of a priority.

“Number one, we’d like to see more Transit Police [officers],” says Gavin Davies with the union the represents bus drivers.

He points out who says there are about 150 assaults on bus drivers every year.

“We’ve called out for Transit Police to be a more visible force on the buses, for the protection of our members, and also the ridership out there,” says Davies.

“If there’s going to be a reduction [in staff] because of the introduction of faregates, we would like to see that personnel redirected to the buses.”

The union would also like to see more road supervisors.

“Not so much as far as protecting us against criminal activity, but just being out on the road to assist us in our day-to-day duties,” explains Davies.

Across the border, police are re-launching a program that sees uniformed officers riding buses to protect drivers and riders; that’s something Davies is in favour of happening here.