Friday, December 18, 2015

Assaults on Houston Bus Drivers up 73% Percent in 2015

It's seems like it would be hard enough to drive a bus- piloting a large vehicle, talking to people about where they need to get off, watching for cars cutting in front of you, etc.- without having to worry about getting beat up. Yes, beat up. Apparently there has been a spike in assaults on bus drivers in Houston, TX.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Houston Metro officials yesterday announced a public awareness campaign to make riders aware of the Transit Authority’s code of conduct for riders. This follows a 73 percent increase in assaults on operators in 2015 compared to 2014. So far this year, Metro has reported 52 assaults, ranging from angry riders spitting on bus drivers to punching, head-butting and cursing them. One man, in the video below, even violently confronts a bus driver while carrying a baby in a front pack on his chest.

Officials can't identify a single factor that is prompting the increased assaults. Some have been related to paying fares while others involved loud music or cell phone use. There is also a mental health issue in the Houston community according to officials that could be contributing to the violence.

As a preventative measure, drivers are receiving training on how to avoid escalating tense situations.

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About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.