Friday, December 21, 2012

Attacks on RTA Bus Drivers Continue With Shaker Heights Incident

Posted by on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 12:29 PM

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The Number 40 bus was making its way through Shaker Heights yesterday afternoon when two teenagers attacked the 42-year-old bus driver.

When the duo refused to pay the fare, they got off the bus and walked to the rear entrance. At that point, they approached the driver and began punching him before fleeing.

19 Action News reports that Shaker Heights police are still looking for the two suspects.

It's the latest in a string of violent incidents involving bus drivers working for RTA. The ongoing issue gained visibility in the community when a video of a bus driver decking a female passenger went viral in mid-October. (That particular incident took place Sept. 18).

Part-time bus driver Greg Vranekovic was sent to the hospital Nov. 8 following a fist-laden outburst from an angry passenger.

During a Dec. 4 RTA committee meeting, trustees discussed the organization's ongoing safety initiatives. Plans include enclosures for bus drivers, de-escalation and conflict resolution training for employees, enhanced police presence and further outreach for customers. An emergency hotline for texts (216-575-EYES) is publicized throughout the system and a mobile app is now available.

"Crime tips or suspicious activity reports can be submitted through iWatch as text messages, emails or phone calls and all tips are sent in real-time to transit police," according to the organization. As of Dec. 17, the iWatch RTA app is available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry.

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