New technology minimizes graffiti on Canadian transit vehicles

MONTREAL -- Canadian municipalities have been accelerating the fight against graffiti by requiring new transit vehicles to contain built-in protections to minimize the street art considered an urban scourge by some.

See Full Article

Montreal's new Metro cars and Toronto streetcars -- along with transit vehicles in Vancouver and Edmonton that have been ordered from Bombardier, the world's largest maker of railway transit vehicles -- are delivered installed with some level of protection, ranging from gel coatings that protect panels to plastic films that limit damage to windows.

Transit authorities around the world are increasingly requiring manufacturers to provide designs that tackle the prospect of their vehicles being vandalized, Marc-Andre Lefebvre, spokesman for Bombardier, said in a recent interview.

"It's common all over the world .... Almost all our customers do require a certain level of protection or resistance," he said.

Bombardier says the best exterior protection involves using stainless steel on vehicles like the new Toronto subway cars known as the Toronto Rocket and Montreal suburban AMT trains.

Interior protection depends on how much the customer is willing to spend given their previous experiences with vandalism. But so-called scratchitti, in which vandals uses knives or other tools to carve into windows and panels, is an evolving concern, Lefebvre said.

Bombardier isn't alone. Other large manufacturers also use materials from suppliers including 3M and Dupont to meet customer demand, Lefebvre said.

Montreal's transit authority and the Toronto Transit Commission have also sought help to protect existing vehicles.

Plas-Tech based in Concord, Ont., won a $591,000 contract from Montreal to supply 3M anti-graffiti film. The four-ply ultra-thin material affixed to windows and clear dividers near exits can be peeled off when damaged, and replaced by transit staff.

"It just increases the life of that window that much longer," said Mike Aube, the company's sales manager.

Some studies have suggested graffiti vandalism costs taxpayers around the world billions of dollars a year to clean up.

New York City says it spent about $1 million in 2014 to clean North America's largest subway system, some 25 years after it aimed to become graffiti-free. At the height of the problem, subway cars were so tagged that it was nearly impossible to see out the windows as ridership plunged and crime soared, it said.

Montreal says graffiti removal costs are part of the transit system's overall $20 million per year station maintenance budget.

Like most transit systems, Canada's second-largest says it tries to discourage vandalism by removing graffiti in less than a day. Hate-fuelled tags are also reported to police.

Calgary recently dealt with racist graffiti on property and cars at a LRT station that disparaged and threatened Syrian refugees and Muslims. That was five years after Calgarians listed graffiti vandalism in a police survey as one of the Top 10 safety/crime issues in the city.

Toronto stepped up its efforts to tackle vandalism after its general manager arrived in 1995 after running New York's transit system.

But major incidents in Toronto have been on the rise for most of the decade, peaking at 67 in 2014 from 13 in 2008. They were down slightly to 54 in 2015.

Vancouver's TransLink said it boosted overnight security patrols around train storage depots and quickly removes graffiti from vehicles. It also apples a coating to protect paint on train exteriors and a protective anti-scratch coating on the inside of windows.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Apple poised to expand into speaker market with HomePod

    Tech & Science CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO -- Apple is finally ready to launch its attempt to compete with the internet-connected speakers made by Amazon and Google with the release of its long-awaited HomePod. Pre-orders for the HomePod will begin Friday in the U.S, U.K. Source
  • Why B.C. and Alaska avoided a massive tsunami

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Coastal communities in British Columbia and Alaska were evacuated to higher ground early this morning after tsunami warning sirens blared following a large earthquake off the coast of Alaska. But the warning was later cancelled without any reported tsunami damage. Source
  • Tsunami warning: How to respond when the alert is raised

    Tech & Science CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- Some facts on tsunamis after a warning on Tuesday caused people in communities along the coast of British Columbia to head to higher ground: What is a tsunami? Japanese for "harbour wave," a tsunami is a series of huge ocean waves caused by a rapid and large-scale disturbance of sea water. Source
  • AI can read! Tech firms race to smarten up thinking machines

    Tech & Science CTV News
    PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Seven years ago, a computer beat two human quizmasters on a "Jeopardy" challenge. Ever since, the tech industry has been training its machines even harder to make them better at amassing knowledge and answering questions. Source
  • Fisheries minister to outline measures aimed at protecting endangered whales

    Tech & Science CTV News
    MONCTON, N.B. -- The federal fisheries minister is expected to announce new measures today aimed at protecting North Atlantic right whales. Dominic LeBlanc is planning to outline the initiatives this morning in Moncton, N.B. Source
  • Ottawa announces four new measures in effort to protect right whales

    Tech & Science CTV News
    MONCTON, N.B. -- The federal fisheries minister has announced four immediate measures for the crab fishery in an effort to protect North Atlantic right whales from entanglement with fishing gear. Dominic LeBlanc says new rules will greatly reduce the amount of rope that can be left floating on the surface when crab pots are set to just 3.7 metres. Source
  • Astronauts go spacewalking to give new hand to Canadarm2

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Spacewalking astronauts are giving a hand to the International Space Station's big robot arm. NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Scott Tingle floated outdoors Tuesday to install the new mechanical gripper. Because of the lingering effects of the government shutdown, the beginning of the spacewalk was not broadcast live on NASA TV. Source
  • Astronauts go spacewalking to give new hand to robot arm

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Spacewalking astronauts gave a hand to the International Space Station's big robot arm Tuesday. As the federal government geared back up 250 miles below, NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Scott Tingle floated outdoors to install the new mechanical gripper. Source
  • Spacewalking astronauts give new hand to robot arm

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Spacewalking astronauts gave a hand to the International Space Station's big robot arm Tuesday. As the federal government geared back up 250 miles below, NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Scott Tingle successfully installed the new mechanical gripper. Source
  • Flood of garbage stirs uproar in Lebanon

    Tech & Science CTV News
    ZOUQ MOSBEH, Lebanon -- Environmentalists say a winter storm has pushed a wave of trash onto a Lebanese shore just outside Beirut, stirring outrage over a waste management crisis that has choked the country since 2015. Source