A bus driver was brutally and senselessly attacked while on the job in Villeray-St-Michel-Parc-Extension borough in Montreal this past Thursday.
He was on duty driving the 99 bus line when a woman and her young son being followed by a man came onto the bus asking for help.
The woman expressed that a man had been following her for about 100-meters, and she had asked him to leave with no success.
The bus driver then reached for his handset to call the police and that's when the man suddenly attacked him.
Restrained by his seatbelt, the bus driver was having a difficult time defending himself from the man who was spitting on him and hitting him.
Also, the attacker was a very large man of about 175 pounds and much too big for the bus driver to physically attempt to defend himself.
Exclusif @tvanouvelles Un chauffeur d'autobus de la #STM tient à dénoncer la violente agression dont il a été victime jeudi soir dernier. Son récit #LCN dans un instant— Yves Poirier (@poirieryvesTVA)
According to a source, bus drivers being the victim of senseless attacking is not new. In 2017, the STM experience 166 attacks including over 70 physical assaults, armed and spitting. And this year, 117 attacks, including 56 physical assaults.
Une autre agression physique visant un chauffeur d'autobus de la Société de transport de Montréal est survenue, jeudi soir dernier.https://www.journaldemontreal.com/2018/07/21/un-chauffeur-dautobus-de-la-stm-attaque-gratuitement-1 …— Journal de Montréal (@JdeMontreal)
What's the underlying issue here?
Unsurprisingly, wait-times for buses is the primary cause for violent outbursts from passengers.
The STM is brainstorming different safeguards that could be set in place to prevent violence towards bus drivers. One of the possible solutions in the pipeline is an "anti-aggression" partition for the bus driver.
In addition, Since 2006, the STM has jointly set up the Securibus program with the union to prevent aggression against drivers. This program aims to reduce the number of attacks on drivers through training, prevention measures, and presence of cameras on buses, and customer communication campaigns.
We all know have our fair share of complaints against the STM bus, and it seems like bus ridership is lower than ever. However, that does not justify any violence towards these individuals who are just doing their job.