Bus drivers have a rough job with long days—and increasingly violent passengers only make it worse. This year the MTA says there has been a 17 percent uptick in attacks on drivers. So while some students were making seat cushions for hardworking drivers, the MTA has apparently been hard at work designing new partitions to keep them safe from spit, punches, and knives. And what do you know, the new partitions have started hitting the streets!
The new partitions took some time to get right. New York City Transit's assistant chief of bus training Wayne Galante tells NY1 that it took so long because, "there was no shield available that could resist being cut by a knife, was glare free and not too confining for drivers." But now they've found their Goldilocks glass the partitions—which come in three types and cost between $1,800 to $3,800 each— are getting installed bit by bit.
Transit officials say 121 buses have them now, with 300 expected to have them by the end of the year. By March the MTA hopes to have them in 500 buses, especially on "high assault routes" in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Upper Manhattan. In addition the MTA has installed 207 bus cameras. 1,150 should be installed by next year.
One thing partitions won't help with? Texting and dozing drivers. But we're sure the MTA is working on an auto-prodder to deal with that soon enough.