Dear sister/brother, Thanks to the efforts of the International, Local leaders and our members on last year’s federal transit legislation (FAST Act), we were able to secure language in the bill which requires the U.S. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to issue new rules to address the issue of bus operator assaults. That process is now beginning. FTA has announced that it will be holding a live webinar to kick off this process on Wednesday, June 15 from 1:00-2:00 pm ET. We encourage you to participate in this webinar to make sure that we are part of this important process. You can register for this event here. During this webinar, FTA will explain their process for receiving public comments relating to bus operator assaults. Here are the key points and recommendations that we want the FTA to consider: Key Points:
Assaults on transit workers can be prevented. The FTA and industry should put a full scale prevention program in place. A few attacks on transit workers are random, but the vast majority can be prevented.
Millions of dollars of lost time and productivity for transit agencies are due to attacks on bus operators.
Post-traumatic stress on bus operators who have been attacked is a major problem.
If transit authorities spent as much time and energy on assaults as they have on accidents, slips trips and falls and absenteeism, they could save millions of dollars and have a healthier workforce.
Installation of driver barriers and bus shields
Installation of driver's side doors
Police presence on buses and at stops
Bus surveillance cameras
Metro card fare system
Violence prevention programs
In addition, here are some additional materials to brief you to prepare for this webinar.
After the webinar, the FTA will be hosting a six-week on line dialogue on this issue where you will be able to tell regulators about your experiences with operator assaults and offer recommendations. We will send directions on how to submit comments after the webinar. Finally the FTA's process to issue new rules to address assaultson transit workers will take 9-12 months and we will be in touch with you that entire period to ensure our voices are heard.
If you have any questions please contact my office. In solidarity Larry Hanley International President