Reporting Kim Glovas
By Kim Glovas
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Bus driver safety on public transit is drawing more attention after Saturday’s attack of a SEPTA bus driver by three teenaged boys. There are efforts already underway to protect drivers.
A Pennsylvania Senate bill introduced last fall would include bus drivers with police and firefighters in a protected class. The bill would upgrade assaults against them immediately to aggravated assault, which is a felony.
This SEPTA bus driver says she isn’t afraid of most passengers, but she says passengers on the 52 bus are not the usual riders.
“I don’t know, maybe just having a bad day,” she said. “I have no idea, but it’s just a different atmosphere, I can’t necessarily pinpoint why or what, but I just know that I don’t feel comfortable over there sometimes.”
New Jersey Transit installed shields on 65 buses last fall in a pilot program, after assaults on two separate drivers on the Route 400 bus between Philadelphia and Sicklerville. The shield separates the driver and passengers.
TWU Local 234 in Philadelphia is looking at bus driver security but could not be reached for comment.