Being a woman, there are a few more things you have to be cautious of when travelling alone, especially at night. We've heard the stories of strangers following vulnerable women to their cars, cat-calling them, and just downright making them uncomfortable. You might have even experienced it yourself.
For those of us living in Montreal and surrounding areas, according to Journal de Montreal and commuter opinion polls, these two STM stations are some of the most dangerous for women.
Seriously, women have actually stopped taking public transit at these Laval stations at night due to past experiences and fear of what may happen to them.
TL;DR Reports have shown that women in Laval have tried to stop using Cartier and De la Concorde stations in the evening due to safety concerns. Changes will be coming to both stations in an attempt to make women feel safer during dark hours. More details below.
Examples of why women have begun avoiding the Cartier and De la Concorde metro stations include the low frequency of buses to leave the station, resulting in longer waiting times (alone and in a pretty unpopulated area), the lack of security personnel at both locations, and the distance of walking to the parking lot (again, alone at night).
According to the Women and Cities International (FVI) these are just a few reasons why women have actually been changing their travel habits in Laval during the evening. Their poll asked 150 women about their experiences at the three metro stations on the North Shore.
What's even more concerning is that the Laval Police Service rarely get involved in issues taking place at the metro stations. With the police having only intervened four times in violent crimes at the stations from January 1, 2018 to October 30, 2018, according to le Journal, it's really no surprise women in Laval feel unprotected and unsafe.
In attempt to lessen the fear for women who have to commute, the FVI is planning to identify urban developments that should be modified so women feel safer on public transit during dark hours. Changes are expected to arrive at the two Laval stations, hopefully making evening travels for women more comfortable.
Until then, women in Laval will understandably avoid the metro stations in the evening.