There has been a sharp increase in the number of transit shelters in Calgary being smashed by vandals so far this year, the city says.

“It seems to be fairly random. But we're seeing about 300 to 400 breakages per year," said Calgary Transit manager Neil McKendrick. 

"And this year it seems to be particularly problematic because we've seen about that many and this is only August."

McKendrick said even though the city doesn't own or maintain the shelters, the complaints come to his department.

Advertising firm CBS picks up the bill for the damages but the cost does eventually trickle down to the taxpayers, McKendrick said.

There are 1,800 transit shelters in Calgary and it can cost as much as $10,000 to fix one that has been vandalized.

Vandals are defacing the shelters in other ways too, McKendrick said. He calls it “scratch-etti.”

“It’s just like graffiti but it’s done with a screwdriver or a knife.”

McKendrick said city council has asked his department to look into the problem and report back in the new year.

“I guess what we're trying to say is, we care and we are going to try and capture the people doing this."