In response to an uptick in violent attacks on T workers, the MBTA has rolled out a new public campaign to discourage unstable and irate customers from lashing out at employees.
MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott and Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan both recorded public service announcements that will be played over the intercom in the transit system.
“Your safety is our top priority. Please do your part to ensure the safety of our operators and T customers. We serve with pride. And thank you for using the MBTA. Have a safe day,” Scott says in the public service announcement.
MacMillan says, “Assaulting an MBTA employee is against the law. Think twice before putting your hands on T staff. We will find you, arrest you and prosecute you.”
Posters have been plastered on the back of bus seats, making it appear as though the person seated in front of the image is getting cuffed.
The caption reads, “Don’t touch the driver.” A different set of posters sends the same message, but warns that “violence toward a bus driver is against the law. We will prosecute.”
In a letter to employees, Scott said “I want you to know how deeply troubled I am by several recent brazen attacks on our employees in the course of them doing their jobs, and to let you know that we will not sit by idly and let these egregious acts go unanswered. Certainly, getting assaulted is not part of any T employee’s job.”
The T is promoting the campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #DontTouchTheDriver. Twitter user @Ryannichols7 wrote today, “I can’t believe #donttouchthedriver has to be a thing on the MBTA. we suck.”