Despite drop in violence against T drivers, petition calls for better security - Metro US

Despite drop in violence against T drivers, petition calls for better security

Nic Czarnecki/Metro Boston

A moveon.org petition is almost at its goal to provide safeguards for MBTA bus drivers in order to protect them from unruly or violent passengers.

The petition comes after a passenger poured liquid on a driver on August 26. The incident made headlines when Worldstarfights.com posted the video of a woman throwing a liquid on a driver who then gets off the bus. The driver is seen chasing the woman down and attacking the woman, even though she is holding a child. Onlookers rush over to break the fight up. The video has well over 2 million views.

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“The public is very hard to deal with and drivers get no mercy at all,” petition creator Anitra Nance wrote. “If no safeguards are going to be put in place, then a transit police officer should be assigned to each bus for the employee’s safety when dealing with unruly and violent passengers.”

MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said that the T tested out a partition around the bus driver’s seats, but the bus drivers’ union opposed it.

“More than a year ago, the MBTA installed a partition around the bus driver’s seat to allow drivers to test it,” Pesaturo said. “After a testing period, the union,representing bus drivers,told the MBTA it did not want them.”

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Pesaturo said that T police officers patrol the buses regularly, and attacks on drivers are down nine percent from last year.

A representative for the Boston Carmen’s Union was not available for comment.

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