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

  • Jet lag can adversely affect Major League Baseball players: study

    Tech & Science CBC News
    A new study has found the jet lag that goes with a grinding schedule of Major League Baseball games that takes players from coast to coast and back again can take its toll on performance. Source
  • Paris tests electric driverless minibus to fight air pollution

    Tech & Science CTV News
    PARIS -- In a city hit by chronic pollution and traffic problems, Paris officials are experimenting with a self-driving shuttle linking two train stations in the French capital. Two electric-power EZ10 minibuses, which can carry up to six seated passengers, were put into service Monday and will be tested until early April between the Lyon and Austerlitz stations in Paris. Source
  • Researchers unearth fossils of giant otter in China

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Scientists have unearthed fossils of an intriguingly large otter as big as a wolf that frolicked in rivers and lakes in a lush, warm and humid wetlands region in southwestern China about 6.2 million years ago. Source
  • Xiaomi's Hugo Barra quits China for Silicon Valley

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Hugo Barra, who caused a sensation in 2013 by leaving Google to become a vice president of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, announced Monday he was returning to the United States for health reasons. Barra, under whom Xiaomi was for a time China's best-selling brand, described his experience as a "spectacular" journey but said it was time to return home for a "new adventure". Source
  • U.S. states uncertain what Trump victory means for wind and solar power

    Tech & Science CBC News
    President Donald Trump has disputed climate change, pledged a revival of coal and disparaged wind power, and his nominee to head the Energy Department was once highly skeptical of the agency's value. What this means for states' efforts to promote renewable energy is an open question. Source
  • N.S. wildlife park fundraising to save 'Little Bear' from euthanasia

    Tech & Science CTV News
    A wildlife park in Cape Breton, N.S., is appealing for donations to build a new cage for an orphaned black bear cub in their care. The nearly one-year-old black bear, dubbed “Little Bear,” was found wandering alone by a pair of men on a highway near Whycocomagh, N.S. Source
  • China's online population reaches 731 million

    Tech & Science CTV News
    The number of internet users in China -- already the world's highest -- reached 731 million in December, authorities said, as e-commerce drives consumer demand across the Asian giant. Total internet users rose 6.2 per cent from the end of December 2015 and equals the entire population of Europe, the government-linked China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) said in a statement Sunday on its website. Source
  • Samsung: Batteries only problem with fire-prone Note 7s

    Tech & Science Toronto Sun
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — Samsung Electronics Co. said Monday that problems with the design and manufacturing of batteries in its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones caused them to overheat and burst into fire. The announcement of results from the company’s investigation into one of its worst product fiascos comes three months after the flagship phone was discontinued. Source
  • Ribbon may have finally run out for India's typewriters

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NEW DELHI -- The end is coming, though admittedly it may not look that way at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, when dozens of young Indians have arrived for morning classes at Anand Type, Shorthand and Keypunch College, and every battered Remington is clattering away. Source
  • China cracks down on VPN devices used to access blocked sites

    Tech & Science CTV News
    BEIJING -- A Chinese technology regulator has announced a 14-month campaign to root out services that allow people in the country to circumvent the government's internet censorship. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology says it forbids the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) or leased lines that allow users and businesses to access blocked overseas websites without permission. Source