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'It's getting scary': Saskatoon woman assaulted while waiting for public transit

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A Saskatoon woman said she has safety concerns with city transit after she was assaulted and robbed on her way home from work.

After riding the bus in Saskatoon for decades, Kathy Sinclair says she’s seeing more violence in recent years.

“It’s getting scary nowadays,” she said.

Sinclair said she’s been assaulted twice, first on the bus, and then at a bus stop on Confederation Drive, where she was also robbed.

“I’m just concerned for everybody who takes the bus, you know, that they don’t have to go through what I’ve been through.”

The City of Saskatoon has set aside $482,600 in this year’s budget to recruit six transit support workers to help curb violence and monitor incidents.

“I think it will help having a uniformed presence in buses and around the bus stops and terminals,” said Darcy Pederson, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union.

The City of Saskatoon told CTV News the Saskatoon Fire Department will assist the transit support program.

In a statement the fire department said it is still working on the details.

“The preliminary plan, using data provided by transit and fire support workers, will see a presence in targeted areas and on routes where incidents are occurring more frequently,” the statement said.

Pederson says the team is set to begin in July, but the sooner the better.

“We would love to see them out there right now, because the assaults on our bus drivers and riding public are just increasing,” he said.

Sinclair doesn’t think six people will be enough to keep the community safe.

“That’s not enough for the amount of buses they have, and it’s not enough for the people who have to stand outside and wait for the bus,” Sinclair said.

In the meantime, she wants to remind others to stay alert.

“Be aware of what’s behind you,” she said

“Every once in a while take a turn, like I do now, I turn around to check my surroundings.”

In a statement to CTV News, Saskatoon Transit said it cannot comment on this specific incident, but encouraged anyone with safety concerns to contact emergency services.

“If doing so directly is not an option for an individual, bus operators and supervisors have a direct line to contact emergency services to report incidents,” the statement read.

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