WorkSafeBC and transit agencies are funding ten Plexiglas shield prototypes to be tested in a pilot project on Metro Vancouver buses, to be rolled out later this year.
Says Unifor Local 111 president Nathan Woods: “These barriers are needed simply because there are no engineered mechanisms to prevent assaults against transit operators.”
Assaults against bus drivers have been on the rise in Metro Vancouver, prompting Transit Police to step up their patrols.
“While we could incorporate training or legislative changes, there needs to be an engineered device to protect the transit operators,” Woods says. “Right now, there is no barrier against a sucker punch, a spitting, or any time of sexual assault.”
Woods says operator and passenger input will be considered before a full roll out.
A similar pilot project will be launched by BC Transit in Victoria.