Bus drivers' jobs difficult, dangerous at times
The Kansas City Star
Most of of the passengers stepping on to Kansas City Area Transportation buses just want to ride quietly to their destination.
Sometimes, though, people get on to the buses to cause trouble. A bus driver faced that Monday when a man with some friends got on a bus and didn’t pay their fares and then punched the driver after he ordered them off his bus.
The 54-year-old driver was kocked unconscious about 9 p.m. at 39th Street and Indiana Avenue, The Kansas City Star reported. The assault created a dangerous situation for the driver and other people were on the bus.
It is not unusual for bus drivers to be attacked. Some have been punched, stabbed, shot at and assaulted in other ways. Buses also have even been hijacked.
The Star reported in 2010 that locally the city bus service averaged 16 reported assaults a year from 2005 to 2009. Nationally, 394 bus drivers suffered assaults in 2009.
Bus drivers are vulnerable. They are easy targets as they work to keep those huge vehicles in the road safely, watch for and greet passengers, make sure fares are paid and let people off at the right stops.
More needs to occur to protect drivers and others on buses. It has to happen now if there is any hope that a proposed streetcar system also can safely operate in town.