By Tyler Sutherland
Following the fatal stabbing of bus operator Irvine “Jubal” Fraser in February, Winnipeg Transit is proposing new safety measures to protect drivers and riders.
Transit will soon begin testing bus operator safety barriers to keep drivers behind a layer of protection, in the event a confrontational situation should arise.
An administrative report is also recommending an additional inspector be on the streets each night to support operators and any concerns that may come up. This is in addition to adjusting inspector procedures to improve response time when a bus operator requires assistance.
Inspectors would also conduct checks on buses for unpaid fares.
Winnipeg Transit also wants riders to speak up and report undesirable behaviour through a “see something, say something” campaign.
- Expansion of the audio/video surveillance system to deter undesirable behaviour and assist with identification, investigation, and prosecution of perpetrators
- Adding one instructor and three dedicated relief operators to provide additional ongoing training for operators to prevent and diffuse conflict
- Funding for five additional full time positions, or another source of security presence, to assist operators and passengers and to increase awareness and enforcement of the Public Transit By-law
- Four new Point Duty Inspectors to assist operators and passengers at set strategic locations
Winnipeg Transit consulted with its employees, Winnipeg police, and the Amalgamated Transit Union in coming up with its list of recommendations. A city committee will consider them at a meeting on May 30 before being voted on by city council.