Bus Operators Rally Outside Transit Authority

Two hundred TWU Local 100 Bus Operators, angry after a holiday weekend that saw three drivers assaulted, with one requiring 50 stitches to close knife wounds, rallied outside of New York City Transit's Brooklyn building at 130 Livingston Street. TWU Local 100 Recording Secretary LaTonya Crisp-Sauray pointed at the building and said TA managers, who are guarded 24/7 by armed police, aren't taking the assaults seriously enough. She called on the TA to live up to its "safety first" maxim by practicing what they preach to the public and put additional resources into protecting their employees.TA Surface Vice President JP Patafio told his members that if they are in danger of being assaulted, they have the right to stop the bus and call for assistance. Other speakers called attention to the fact that, as the wave of assaults against bus drivers continues, only a fifth of the buses in the fleet have plastic partitions to protect the driver. One by one, half a dozen Bus Operators who were assaulted by passengers told their stories to the news media and union officials handed out cards to be given out widely throughout the system. The cards invoke MTA regulations, telling Operators to pull over and notify a supervisor when in danger of assault.