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The general director of the STM, Marie-Claude Léonard, affirms that this accumulation of he incidents and attacks have an impact on both STM employees and customers. (Archive photo)

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The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) recorded a 6% increase in assaults in 2023 compared to the previous year, and it is the drivers buses and the special constables who pay the price.

The Montreal metro and bus network are a reflection of society; it's a city within a city, explained Tuesday the general director of the STM, Marie-Claude Léonard to Tout un matin on ICI Premiere.

By attacks, the STM means assault, threats and harassment. Among the metro stations where two or more assaults were recorded in 2023, Berri-UQAM tops the list, followed by Jean-Talon, Joliette, Beaudry and Honoré-Beaugrand.

Other stations on the green line also appear in this less than stellar list: Viau, Papineau, Frontenac. On the orange line, Montmorency also stands out.

Always in 2023, it was in January that the most large number of attacks, followed by the months of June and February, May and October tied.

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In addition, of the 348 assaults recorded, bus drivers suffered 185, while constables suffered 83 and station officers, 39.

But this does not include the whole register of incivility perpetrated by users who have a short fuse. The incidents, explains Ms. Léonard, can be screams, blows given in the dressing room of a metro station agent, mean looks, invectives, intimidation and other small or big gestures. that STM employees endure on a daily basis.

Aggression that affects both employees and customers, explains Marie-Claude Léonard. Of course, the STM tries to calm things down in various ways, but it's quite an exercise to find the right balance, she says. We must both show kindness, particularly towards vulnerable people, and ensure a feeling of security for employees and customers.

A maximum of reporting tools are made available to employees and users, says the STM DG. She cites the telephones on the platforms, the intercom on the train and the presence of station agents in her dressing room, special constables, maintenance workers: that whole ecosystem.< /p>

With information from Raphaëlle Drouin

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