Last summer, it was reported the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) would debut a new app to allow riders to report harassment to authorities. The app was scheduled to debut in late 2016 or early 2017, but now it has been delayed, reports The Star.
The anti-harassment app being developed by Massachusetts-based Elerts, is known as “Safe TTC” and will cost $440,000.
Speaking to The Star, TTC spokesperson Susan Sperling says the new app won’t be coming until this fall. The reason for the delay is due to “extensive testing and training … to ensure that proper standard operating procedures are in place when the app is released.” She continued to say “We want to do this right.”
The app would let riders snap photos or videos of incidents, which can be immediately sent to transit authorities. “Safe TTC” would automatically disable a camera’s flash to let users take pictures incognito, while reports are sent with GPS location included.
The TTC says their version of the app will allow users to report vandalism and more, but will focus on harassment and assault. Last year 85 sexual assaults were reported to the TTC, and a dozen in the first two months of 2017.
The Star says sexual assault numbers reported to police are higher, according to documents obtained through a freedom of information request last year; 577 incidents occurred between 2011 and 2015 on TTC property or vehicles, working out to an average of close to one every three days.
While the TTC says the app is not going to end harassment and sexual assault, “it is going to assist customers with reporting it so that the TTC and police can continue to tackle this incredibly serious issue.”