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

  • New Zealand law student launches climate change court case

    Tech & Science CTV News
    WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- A New Zealand law student is taking the government to court over its climate change policies in hopes of forcing it to set more ambitious targets. Sarah Thomson is challenging the government over commitments that include a pledge under the Paris climate accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. Source
  • SpaceX launches 10 satellites from California air base

    Tech & Science CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- A SpaceX rocket carried 10 communications satellites into orbit from California on Sunday, two days after the company successfully launched a satellite from Florida. The Falcon 9 rocket blasted off through low-lying fog at 1:25 p.m. Source
  • Why this conservation group thinks soiled undies are a good thing

    Tech & Science CTV News
    One of the best things about summer is the fresh selection of fruits and vegetables available throughout the warm months. But a strange crop with far less nutritional value has a Canadian conservation group excited for the season. Source
  • Rising right whale death toll could be "catastrophic": marine biologist

    Tech & Science CTV News
    MONCTON, N.B. - A marine mammal expert says the fate of critically endangered species could hang in the balance as the death toll of North Atlantic right whales found floating in the Gulf of St. Source
  • Giant sequoia move on schedule in Idaho, tree doing well

    Tech & Science CTV News
    BOISE, Idaho -- A massive Idaho tree that grew over more than a century from a seedling sent by a noted naturalist has been uprooted and is poised to travel about two blocks Sunday to a new location. Source
  • Medical marijuana woos four-legged fans

    Tech & Science CTV News
    It's early morning, just after breakfast, and six-year-old Cayley is wide awake, eagerly anticipating her daily dose of cannabis. The black labrador, tail wagging, laps up the liquid tincture owner Brett Hartmann squirts into her mouth, a remedy he uses morning and evening to help alleviate Cayley's anxiety. Source
  • Fisheries Dept. dispatches aircraft, boats to study right whale deaths

    Tech & Science CTV News
    MONCTON, N.B. - Fisheries officials are trying to figure out what caused the recent deaths of several endangered right whales in the waters off eastern Canada. The Fisheries Department is raising concern about the deaths of at least five North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Source
  • Surge in unexplained right whale deaths prompts government response

    Tech & Science CTV News
    MONCTON, N.B. -- The federal fisheries department is trying to figure out what caused the recent deaths of several endangered right whales in the waters off eastern Canada. A fisheries official says at least five North Atlantic right whales were found dead in the Gulf of St. Source
  • Panda mania hits Germany as Meng Meng, Jiao Qing arrive

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Germany was bracing for panda mania as furry ambassadors arrive from China on Saturday, destined for a new life as stars of Berlin's premier zoo. The pair, named Meng Meng and Jiao Qing, will be jetting in on a special Lufthansa cargo plane, accompanied by two Chinese panda specialists, the Berlin Zoo's chief vet and a tonne of bamboo. Source
  • Google to stop scanning Gmail for ad targeting

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Google said Friday it would stop scanning the contents of Gmail users' inboxes for ad targeting, moving to end a practice that has fueled privacy concerns since the free email service was launched. A Google statement said Gmail users would still see "personalized" ads and marketing messages but these would be based on other data, which may include search queries or browsing habits. Source