28 people banned from Winnipeg Transit in 2019 mostly due to violence
(CTV News file image of a Winnipeg Transit bus.)
WINNIPEG -- Nearly 30 people were banned from using Winnipeg Transit last year and it was mostly because of violence.
According to Randy Tonnellier, Winnipeg Transit’s manager of operations, a total of 28 people received this order in 2019, noting in most cases the ban will be in place for one year.
He said the bans were issued after transit inspectors, the core group that issues the orders, found these people “displaying some really bad behaviour.”
“Often they’ve caused a disturbance such as they’ve assaulted someone, they’ve assaulted the operator, other criminal behaviour,” Tonnellier said.
“Or perhaps they’ve been a repeat fare evader. So, refused to pay a fare on multiple occasions.”
Tonnellier said the majority of bans issued in 2019 were due to violence, citing vandalism as an issue as well.
He notes police are also a part of the banning process.
“Whenever an incident occurs like this and a banning takes place, Winnipeg Police are involved as well. So they witness the banning order,” he said.
“So this is really a tool for us to use to promote safety on our busses to discourage this type of behaviour.”
HOW DO OPERATORS KNOW WHO’S BANNED?
Tonnellier said Winnipeg Transit has an internal process for operators to know who’s banned, which includes sending the banned person’s picture to all operators and inspectors.
“So it would be one of our employees recognizing that one of these banned folks are on our property,” he said.
IS IT WORKING?
According to Tonnellier, Winnipeg Transit has had this process in place for 20 years, though in the beginning the number of banned people was lower, because there were less inspectors.
“In 2017 we stepped up the process. We had more inspectors added to our complement, and those are core people on the street who are able to issue banning orders,” he said. The year after in 2018, 29 people were banned from transit.
Tonnellier said banning orders are an effective tool to promote safety on busses. He said when they get a call about a banned person on their property, usually that person ends up leaving right away.
“If not, we call Winnipeg police and then they can be charged under the Petty Trespass Act for trespassing.”
“It’s one of the many things we do to try and promote safety on our busses and help people feel safe when they are using our service.”
-With a file from CTV'S Jon Hendricks