Edmonton Transit bomb-scanning test - huh?

See this news article. For those not familiar with how our system works, on our LRT system you can either “validate” a ticket (timestamp it in one of those orange things in the picture, making it usable for the next 90 minutes) or carry a monthly pass. Also our system is based on honesty (and significant fines if you get caught without a validated ticket or pass), not locked gates or anything similar; people’s tickets/passes are checked occasionally but not often.

Based on that, the test seems totally pointless! If they want to play with explosive/radiation detectors shouldn’t they be tested some place that passengers can not possibly avoid?

Having lived in Edmonton for a few years, and having travelled on the LRT numerous times, I’m wondering why Edmonton is being used for this. Is Edmonton a terrorist target? Will knocking out its LRT bring the city to its knees, halting travel and transport in the city? Knowing Edmonton, and its love of the car, I doubt it.

I’m thinking of Toronto, where I lived for years. Many Torontonians don’t own a car; they use the subway. Drop your token in the turnstile, or collector’s box; or dump a pile of change in the box, and push through. There are 48 people behind you, who will push you if you stop. Find the one with “traces of explosives” on their fingers, if you can identify them in the crowd heading for the train. Paralyzing the TTC in certain subway stations might well bring a good chunk of Toronto to a standstill. Edmonton–maybe not so much.

How will Edmonton “track” an LRT patron when they don’t know if he or she is going northbound or southbound?

You could also pay cash, which gets you a ticket not requiring validation. Or use the pack of tickets you have from last year without the special coating.

IMHO Cubic managed to turn $10,000 worth of wine-and-dines in to a $1.1M equipment lease. In the worst case, it’s not about securing against a threat that never was, but about getting people used to being under the magnifying glass of government every day.

Pisses me right off; it’s bad enough having a culture of fear down south without someone trying to thin-end-of-the-wedge / slippery slope our way in to joining it. My local councilor will get an email as soon as I settle down enough not to sound like the type of guy they’re scanning for. :mad: