Did Covid-19 result in higher crime on public transit?

Murtaza Haider analyzes the increase in crimes on transit properties and vehicles since the onset of the pandemic in Toronto. He found that since April 2020, violent crimes (assaults) increased sharply on properties and vehicles operated by the Toronto Transit Commission. Other findings included:

  • Crime is more frequent on subway stations than subway trains or buses.
  • Crime is more prevalent on terminal transit stations or transfer stations (Yonge and Bloor) where commuter volumes are high.
  • Crime on public transit increased when transit ridership declined during the pandemic.

Prof. Haider recommended that the TTC consider increasing vigilance and monitoring of transit stations in the downtown core and other transit stations where transit ridership are notably higher. We have already identified those stations to be in downtown Toronto or the terminal points of transit lines. We would also recommend the use of artificial intelligence-based technologies that can readily be mounted on existing video feeds collected by cameras on TTC property and vehicles. For instance, ZeroEyes provides technology that can identify in real-time from the video feeds if weapons were brandished, subsequently alerting the police and other security personnel.

You can read the commentary on LinkedIn by clicking HERE.