Latest transit shooting prompts calls for more protection
Officials for Transit Workers Union Local 234 and SEPTA in Philadelphia are calling for ramped up protection and passage of a new law for transit workers after a bus driver was shot Tuesday night. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Tuesday’s incident was the 46th assault on a SEPTA employee this year alone. That number compares with 20 such incidents in all of 2010.
Bernetta Rembert, 46, and a 20-year-veteran with SEPTA, is recovering from a gunshot wound to her right forearm. Police say a man tried to board Rembert’s bus in Grays Ferry, a neighborhood in South Philadelphia. Reportedly, the man was yelling at Rembert, then shot through the closed door. At the time her Route 79 bus was out of service and Rembert was on break. After being shot, Rembert drove herself two miles to a hospital for treatment. There were no security cameras on the bus.
John Johnson, president of Transit Workers Union Local 234, SEPTA General Manager Joseph Casey, and State Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione are now urging lawmakers to pass a bill that would include transit workers in with firefighters and police officers and would upgrade an attack on a transit worker to aggravated assault.