Winnipeg Transit is testing safety shields for its drivers as part of a six-month pilot project.
Two contractors are currently supplying the city with shields as part of a request for proposals issued in mid-2017. Transit says it will analyze the two shield designs to determine which of the two contractors could ultimately supply the city’s entire fleet of buses.
The shields add an extra layer of security for drivers who may become the target of unwanted abuse or assault by an unruly passenger.
“A growing city like Winnipeg needs an efficient, well-functioning, and safe transit service,” said Mayor Brian Bowman.
“This requires us to continue investing in key infrastructure while ensuring transit passengers and operators are able to safely access and operate transit services.”
Following the test phase, Winnipeg Transit will report its findings to city council for further consideration.
A report by Winnipeg Transit earlier this spring also recommended an expansion of audio/video surveillance on buses in 2018, adding one instructor and three dedicated relief operators for ongoing training for operators to prevent and diffuse conflict, and the hiring of five additional full-time staff or another source of security presence on board.