National Online Dialogue on Transit Worker Assault (forum is now closed)

Welcome to the National Online Dialogue on Transit Worker Assault

Update: The National Online Dialogue will be closed for comments at 11:59 PM EST on Wednesday, August 31. Users can still browse through the Online Dialogue but will not be able to make comments. A summary of the Online Dialogue will be published in the coming weeks. Please visit the FTA’s “National Online Dialogue on Transit Work Assault” page for the latest news: https://www.transit.dot.gov/regulations-and-guidance/safety/national-online-dialogue-transit-worker-assault.

Under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to establish “rail and bus safety standards, practices, or protocols” for “protecting rail and bus operators from the risk of assault.” FTA is launching a National Online Dialogue (June 13, 2016 to August 31, 2016) to provide the transit industry and public stakeholders with a platform to discuss their experience with assaults on transit workers. In July 2015, the FTA’s Transit Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS) issued a report entitled, “Preventing and Mitigating Transit Worker Assaults in the Bus and Rail Industry.” The report identified causes of assault against transit workers and reviewed strategies to mitigate these assaults. Now the FTA is seeking public recommendations on how best to prevent and mitigate assaults, and to answer some of the key questions surrounding transit worker assault, including:

  • What protective measures or barriers does your agency have in place to separate transit workers from passengers?
    • What is the estimated cost of your proposed or existing barriers?
    • What data points do you have on the number of assaults before and after barriers were installed? Has there been a reduction in assaults?
    • What are the pros and cons of using barriers or other protective measures?
    • What is the estimated cost of alternative mitigation tactics? How does this cost compare with the cost to install barriers on transit vehicles?
  • How should we define assault?
    • Is assault limited to physical violence, or does it extend to verbal and other types of harassment or abuse?
    • Do station and off-site employees (station managers, maintenance workers, custodial staff, customer service representatives, etc.) experience assault?
    • Do your agency’s mitigations extend to contract and off-site workers?
  • Safety measures are not one size fits all, so how have or how can such measures be implemented across different transit modes and systems (bus, light rail, streetcar, etc.)?
    • What is the projected cost of implementing multiple and varied driver protection measures?
  • Would automated fare collection mitigate risk?
    • Does your current fare collection system put transit workers at risk?
    • What type of automated collection systems are feasible to implement?
  • Does your transit agency have data on what motivates assaults? If so, what does the data indicate?
  • What other topics should be considered as we approach the transit worker assault rulemaking?

Join The Conversation

The National Online Dialogue on Transit Worker Assault will be open from June 13 to August 31, 2016. Your participation will make a difference.

How Can I Participate?

Participation is simple. Present your own idea; vote on someone else’s idea; or simply leave a comment. There are lists of questions that can guide your initial thoughts, but any feedback on Transit Worker Assault is appreciated.

Once you have logged in please feel free to:

  1. Browse existing Ideas below;
  2. Comment or vote on someone else’s idea;
  3. Select “Submit New Idea” to share an idea  (you will be prompted to select a “Category” from a list based on the Campaign Areas); and
  4. Encourage other transportation professionals to join the dialogue and share suggestions!

Useful Links

How can we reduce assaults on Transit Workers?

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  1. TTD Comments

    On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, we submit the following information and requests to the National Online Dialog on Transit Worker Assault:
    • According to FTA statistics, well over 6,000 individual incidents of driver assault occurred between 2010-2014. These statistics fail to capture the full extent of assault due to inadequate data collection methods that do not report assaults that do not result in arrest or are less traditionally physical in nature.
    • Given that nearly every 3 days a reported assault occurs, which is far too high even under the reduced statistical standard, we believe it is…

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    • Fund Transit Operations

      Actually fund transit operations so transit runs reliably, thus reducing passenger frustration, thereby reducing assaults.

      1 vote
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        0 comments  ·  Other  ·  Admin →
      • By supporting transit safety awareness campaigns

        See the recent "Keep Them Safe" San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency ad campaign. It reminds the public that transit workers are our neighbors, friends and family. They do a tough job, and we should treat them with respect. See the ad campaign on city buses, and here: https://www.sfmta.com/about-sfmta/blog/keepthemsafe-stopping-violence-against-those-front-line-sf-transportation

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          0 comments  ·  Other  ·  Admin →
        • There is no one-size-fits-all approach to eliminating assaults on transit workers

          MTA believes there is no one-size-fits-all approach to eliminating incidents of assault on transit workers, and cautions FTA against taking such approach in its upcoming rulemaking. As such, MTA invites FTA to conduct a site visit to appreciate the myriad environments in which NYCT bus and subway personnel interact with the public.

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            0 comments  ·  Other  ·  Admin →
          • Motives for assault

            Issues related to fare payment are the most significant source of conflict. Fare evasion, transfers, incursions over the white safety line, and unauthorized stop requests are the interactions that frequently escalate.

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            • Automated fare collection can mitigate risk

              NYCT believes that an employee’s interaction with a passenger about fare payment presents the potential for conflict. Off-board fare payment removes that responsibility from operators of NYCT’s Select Bus Service.

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              • Protective barriers on NYCT buses

                In 2012 NYCT began a program to install protective barriers on its buses, using security data to prioritize installation on routes with the highest rates of incidents. To date, barriers have been installed on almost the entire fleet operating in peak service.

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                • Examples of how safety measures have been implemented across NYCT's buses and subways

                  On New York City Transit (NYCT) Select Bus Service fare collection is no longer the operator’s responsibility, removing a potential point of conflict.

                  Operators are selected, in part, for the knowledge, skills, and abilities that will serve them well in a public-facing environment.

                  NYCT security personnel compile incidents reported by operators into a monthly workplace violence report to facilitate trend analysis that allows the agency to focus mitigation resources where they achieve maximum impact.

                  Operators are trained in customer service and conflict resolution.

                  Cameras are being rolled out in a variety of places. Buses are being outfitted with customer-facing cameras,…

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                  • FTA need not create its own definition of "assault"

                    In our opinion, even for the purpose of this proposed rulemaking, FTA need not create its own definition of “assault” when state penal codes already contain definitions for prosecutable offenses. (New York State just this month made assault on subway agents and cleaners on par with the penalty for assaulting train operators and bus drivers, i.e., a felony punishable by up to seven years.) To apply a meaning to the word “assault” that could diverge from that of each state is unnecessary for this exercise. The NPRM should focus on risk mitigation guidelines and best practice recommendations for enhancing the…

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                    • Bus Operator Conflict Management

                      Bus operators would greatly benefit from conflict management training where there are dialogue preparation with hands on experience in interacting with the general public. Transit assaults might be prevented if a transit worker was properly trained in conflict deescalation.

                      3 votes
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                        0 comments  ·  Training  ·  Admin →
                      • Transit Station Agent Safety

                        Transit Station Agents should be equipped with a device to alert local police or transit police of any safety issues with a required response time.

                        2 votes
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                        • Amalgamated Transit Union Assault Survey

                          The results of the assault survey are in !!
                          Thank you to all our leaders and members for participating on the ATU online survey on assaults on transit workers.
                          The results while not shocking to ATU members will probably seem astonishing to many people who are not transit workers. Here are some of the highlights of our survey:
                          • More than 75% percent agreed that many operators fear for their safety on a daily basis.
                          • Almost 80% of those responding thought that their agencies were not doing enough to prevent assaults and only 12% thought that enough was being…

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                          • By putting up bullet proof barriers to protect us bis drivers.

                            We need bullet proof barriers to protect the drivers we've been spit on, punched, smacked. We are not safe doing this job. Our life's are on danger everyday and you guys haven't done anything about it.

                            1 vote
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                            • have more guards on trains

                              working on comuter trains as a conductor i fear every day that anything can happen i would like more police to ride or have atleast a second conductor to help me

                              1 vote
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                              • Install some type of turnstile at the door that will only allow entrance after the fare is deposited.

                                Place a type of key pad at the door so that they can swipe their cards and a cash receptacle, like on a vending machine for fare beinbg paid in cash.

                                4 votes
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                                • Enforcement on the Assault - using technology to help

                                  Utilizing Camera systems on buses is a very smart investment - camera systems are now becoming a way of the future in all bussing - coaches, school, and transit alike. Technology has reached the time where live camera feeds are reliable, and will help to deter assault. Being able to have live feeds allows the drivers to call in for immediate help upon a situation. That situation can be monitored live by dispatch, which allows for local law authorities to act instantly and respond on scene. These incidents needs to be enforced, and assaulters need to be arrested and charged.…

                                  4 votes
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                                  • Introducing a federal law

                                    Since it is impossible to physically protect the bus operator, introduction of the federal law may help. This law should impose a minimum mandatory sentence, with a steep increase, depending on the severity of an assault.

                                    5 votes
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                                      0 comments  ·  Other  ·  Admin →
                                    • Increase investment in operator training, security on the coaches and barriers.

                                      We here in Las Vegas have invested deeply in drivers security barriers for the majority of coaches in operation and for barriers to be a part of any future purchase. Additionally we employed additional security personnel to ride routes with the highest incidents of fare evasion and operator assaults. Our contractors safety and security departments have invested numerous hours to conduct de-escalation training and getting operators to follow the policy of simply stating the fare to the passenger, while pointing at the sign that indicates fare evasion is a crime and then telling the passenger to have a seat on…

                                      5 votes
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                                        0 comments  ·  Cost  ·  Admin →
                                      • transit police

                                        I worked for 18 years as a part time officer for Metro Transit Police in addition to my full time job as a police officer for Minneapolis. Having officers in uniform riding for 10 minute rides just to run up the tally of rides on the department stats does not do enough. Plain clothes details of officers with aggressive enforcement, not warnings, for violations would make a difference. A detail to do that with a saturation of officers in plain clothes was shot down by the administration as they thought it was too dangerous! We did it in the past…

                                        9 votes
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                                        • Provide funding for all transit system to install facial identification technology on their systems.

                                          Provide funding to install facial identification technology that would help transit systems protect their workers and their federal assets.

                                          6 votes
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                                          National Online Dialogue on Transit Worker Assault (forum is now closed)

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