Safety shields coming for transit drivers
Jan 21, 2020
This spring, 31 vehicles in the Blue Bus fleet will be fitted with operator shields. The shields will be a transparent protective partition around the operator’s seat.
The question of shields for bus operators has been under review for several years. Bus operators all over the lower mainland have been subject to assaults by passengers, both physical and otherwise. Although the number of assaults has been higher in other municipalities, there have been assaults on Blue Bus operators as well.
WorkSafeBC undertook a safety review with Coast Mountain Bus Company and recommended operator safety shields as a result.
Both Blue Bus and Coast Mountain Bus Company operate as part of the TransLink system. TransLink is implementing the recommendation of WorkSafeBC and installing the shields across both fleets.
Driver safety shields also contribute to the safety of passengers because drivers who are assaulted while driving could potentially lose control of the vehicle.
Blue Bus drivers are known for friendly engagement with their riders, and the shield is designed in such a way that it allows the operator to open up the partition’s top half.
Buses that are 2012 model year and newer will have the shields installed. New buses come already fitted with shields.