Ward 7 Coun. Terry Wong said he made a purposeful visit to see the scene firsthand at Lions Park LRT station.
“It’s unfortunate what we saw there,” Wong said.
“We saw a lot of debris, we saw paraphernalia, we saw graffiti on our own stations. We expect residents to remove graffiti; we need to remove the graffiti just as fast as we expect the residents.”
Wong said three people were huddled in a shelter because they’d consumed “some toxic material” and that other patrons waited outside the shelter because they were afraid.
“This is not the way we provide transit services. It’s not the way we secure a city,” Wong said.
Wong questioned city administration on the issue during Tuesday’s combined meeting of council. He’d posted to Twitter his discovery earlier in the day.
Wong asked about the maintenance schedule for transit stations along all LRT lines.
Doug Morgan, GM of Transportation with the City of Calgary, said there is a regular maintenance routine.
“We do attend to the stations twice daily, first before service and then in the evening,” Morgan said.
Morgan added that they’re about to embark on their spring-cleaning program. That’s a deeper clean, he said, that includes power washing of stations.
Finally, he said they have a two-hour on-call target. That means any time a Calgary Transit client calls the help phone, they try to respond to clean up within two hours.
How can we not afford to do it, said Wong
Wong recalled time he spent in Adelaide, Australia and how they would have cleaners, and even social workers, scouring the transit lines at 5 a.m.
“This is not out of the realm of what we can do in Calgary and that is something that I will be challenging our city to say, how can we ensure that Calgary as a downtown, Calgary as a city, is a destination,” Wong said.
He said he’s heard many times from area residents that they’re left to clean up debris and drug paraphernalia.
When asked if the city could afford to do something like this, Wong responded.
“I mean, how can we not afford it?”