Ensemble Montréal tackles safety in the STM network


The Official Opposition at Montréal City Hall present an action plan to remedy a growing sense of insecurity across the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) transit system. Ensemble Montréal’s elected representatives propose in particular to draw inspiration from Greater Toronto Area and set up a telephone and text (or chat) line enabling users to obtain immediate assistance in the event of an emergency or a safety problem. 

In the Ontario capital’s public transit system, for example, the time it takes to get help is just 90 seconds. In addition to ensuring a rapid response, this line would fill a void in the options currently available to users facing aggression or cohabitation issues.

Calling for more resources and surveillance

To prevent cohabitation issues and crime, Ensemble Montréal is also calling for an increase in surveillance by mixed teams, mobile social mediation and intervention (ÉMMIS) teams, police officers and special constables. The party is specifically calling for the number of STM constables and peace officers to be increased from 160 to 230, something long requested by the Fraternité des constables et agents de la paix de la STM, the STM special constables’ union. Employees should also be available at all stations, from system opening to closing time, so that customers always have a place to go if they need help. 

Finally, overhauling the lighting system, strengthening cleanliness teams, renovating furniture, installing public toilets near stations and introducing art and entertainment cultural initiatives are all essential to making the transit system more user-friendly, attractive and safe.

Click here to consult Ensemble Montréal’s complete action plan to restore a sense of security in the STM network. These measures are in addition to those requested since 2018 to deal more specifically with sexual harassment in public transit.


“For the past two years, Ensemble Montréal has been calling for measures to address safety issues in the STM network. It makes no sense to hear stories of users being beaten, intimidated, harassed and assaulted while, on the other hand, the administration that does nothing to counter this,” deplore Aref Salem, leader of the Official Opposition at Montréal City Hall.

Many issues occurring in the transit system contribute to a feeling of insecurity, but are often not major enough to prompt users to use the emergency brake or contact the vehicle operator. The help line is intended to provide this missing option for citizens who want immediate help, but don’t feel in such danger that they would interrupt the service,” explain Stéphanie Valenzuela, Official Opposition critic for the status of women.

While the budget dedicated to security in the metro network has been cut by 20% in 2023, the administration must now deploy additional police resources in and around metro stations where issues of violence are more present or likely to occur,” says Abdelhaq Sari, public security spokesperson for the Official Opposition.

The situation in the STM network is a sad one for everyone at the moment, from riders who are less and less comfortable taking public transit to vulnerable people who are left to fend for themselves. Accidents happen. I invite the administration not to wait for the situation to worsen before acting to ensure everyone’s safety,” says Benoit Langevin, the Official Opposition spokesperson on homelessness.

See the Ensemble Montréal plan below (in French)

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