If you’re riding the bus this summer, you may find yourself completely separated from the driver.
TransLink will roll out a prototype New York style plexiglass barrier that runs all the way to the floor, creating a walled-in space for the driver on a single bus.
The transit authority says the barriers are needed to deal with the high number of assaults on drivers, who have been hit or spat on while on the job.
It says there have already been about 32 driver assaults this year. Last year it reports 110 assaults, down from 119 in 2014 and 134 in 2013.
TransLink is already testing four other prototype barriers on buses around Metro Vancouver, but they only extend to the driver’s seat.
Those models cost about $3000, and allow the driver to still communicate with riders at the red line at the front of the bus.
TransLink says it plans to test a variety of models of barrier before choosing one for the fleet, and then implementation will take place during regular fleet replacement.