Translink has announced it will install thin plexiglass barriers in a number of buses to help protect its drivers from future assaults.
Installing barriers is a move Translink has been contemplating for quite some, especially with the growing assault numbers. In 2013, there was 134 assaults against bus drivers, and another 119 in 2014.
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The first bus equipped with the protection barrier will make its debut this Thursday on a NOVA bus leaving from the Burnaby Transit Centre. The new protection system will be tested for six-months in Translink’s pilot program.
You may see buses with pexiglass barriers on the following routes:
- 027 – Kootenay Loop/Joyce Station
- 106 – New Westminster/Metrotown Station
- 123 – New Westminster/Brentwood Station
- 129 – Metrotown Station/Edmonds Station
- 130 – Metrotown/Hastings/Kootenay/Capilano University
“We see this six-month trial as a great opportunity for our drivers to experience what it might be like in a safer environment,” said Nathan Woods, president of Unifor Local 111. “This barrier is designed to prevent the sucker punch as the driver is behind the wheel of the coach, and we feel it’s the best engineered product so far that we’ve seen.”
“We believe it would be effective at reducing the assaults, but part of the pilot is to also determine the unintended consequences,” Stewart said. “How does it impact the customer’s experience, the driver’s environment, heat issues, circulation, sound, glare? All of those things.”
While we fully support the protection of Translink bus drivers, it’s sad to see Vancouver’s “unsafe” reputation growing…
Image via buzzer.translink