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'I don't feel safe': Riders react to 'violent assault' on LRT after 12-year-olds charged

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Transit riders and one city councillor agree safety measures need to be increased again after a 55-year-old woman was violently assaulted at an LRT station last month.

Two 12-year-old girls were charged with aggravated assault in connection with the assault of a 55-year-old woman at Coliseum Station in late November, the Edmonton Police Service said on Monday.

A day later, a number of riders told CTV News Edmonton they don't feel safe taking transit.

"I think that's scary," Ely Bull said. "No, I don't feel safe."

"It puts into perspective how unsafe transit has become in Edmonton," Lynden Barrass told CTV News Edmonton. "Honestly it makes me feel that it's worth the effort to get a car than take transit now because honestly it feels completely not safe anymore."

Barrass wants more security at stations, specifically on platforms.

The City of Edmonton has increased security at transit stations since 2022, with nearly 100 peace officers patrolling facilities now.

In October, council heard transit was becoming safer with violent and non-violent incidents falling from August to September.

Coun. Tim Cartmell told reporters on Tuesday he wants to test turnstiles in some stations for two years "and see what actually happens."

"At least one underground LRT platform to see if we see a reduction in disorderly behaviour, if we see a reduction in violence. Do we see a spillover to other stations?" Cartmell said.

"I hear from people that say the system is not safe…and turnstiles would make it safer. At least make it feel safer. We'll see if the majority of council agrees."

The woman that was assaulted is in critical condition and police are seeking witnesses.

On Tuesday, EPS said it was investigating another "violent and random" assault at the same station earlier in November when a 58-year-old man was attacked on a bus.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Miriam Valdes-Carletti and Matt Marshall

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