Fear and loathing on public transportation: Applying a spatial framework to crime patterns on Vancouver's Canada Line SkyTrain System

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Thesis type
(Thesis) Ph.D.
Date created
The expansion of mass forms of public transportation systems have often been resisted due to fears and concerns over an increased level of crime. The following study seeks to determine whether the SkyTrain’s Canada Line has increased levels of reported crime in six criminal offence categories: commercial burglary, residential burglary, mischief, theft, theft from vehicle, and theft of vehicle between January 2003 and December 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Time series regression, panel data analysis, and spatial point pattern tests are applied to determine whether such concerns should be merited or disregarded in the study of crime and transportation. Results demonstrate that census tracts that host a Canada Line SkyTrain station do not increase levels of crime. Rather, census tracts that host multiple SkyTrain stations and/or are situated in socially disorganized neighbourhoods are at a higher level of risk for criminal victimization. These findings are critical in removing the negative stigma surrounding mass forms of public transportation systems. Additionally, these results assist local police, transit authorities, and urban planners to create appropriate crime prevention strategies to prevent crime while restructuring public discourse about the potential criminogenic effects from public transportation systems.
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This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Andresen, Martin
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etd10399_JGallison.pdf 2.54 MB