New Barrier on MBTA Bus Protects Drivers From Abusive Passengers

If you are taking a bus around Boston this spring, you may notice a new plexiglass partition separating you from the driver.

It’s the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s answer to the rash of assaults on bus drivers in recent years. There were 43 assaults on bus drivers last year and 14 so far this year, reports the Boston Globe. The metal and plexiglass barrier is designed to help protect bus drivers from angry passengers. In the past, bus drivers have been spit on, hit, choked, kicked, and punched.

The MBTA has installed the barrier on just one bus and, for the next 90 days, drivers will take turns using that bus and providing feedback about the new system. If drivers like it, the MBTA will include the partition on every new bus purchased.

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Driver Antoinette Bradley told the Boston Globe she likes the system already, saying, “I feel much safer now, and I don’t have to worry about anyone. They need it on every shift, on every route.”