D.C. Metro considering clear shields to protect drivers
Washington, D.C. Metro will install shields to protect its drivers from abusive and dangerous passengers. According to The Washington Post, agency officials may have 250 aluminum and clear polycarbonate shields installed for driver protection. The Post reports that each shield costs from $1,500 to $2,500 each, depending on the type of bus. Passengers will be able to speak to the driver through small holes near the top of the shield.
An estimated 100 buses will be fitted with the shields this winter and spring to test the barriers. The shields will be on buses that travel on routes that have experienced physical and verbal attacks in the past. D.C. buses already have a police presence. Some 22 members of a special police unit regularly ride buses in uniform and plainclothes.
A number of transit agencies in large cities are stepping protection for bus drivers and passengers. In December, a rash of fights and violent incidents on Milwaukee County transit buses prompted the Milwaukee County police chief to continue having officers board county buses as part of their regular jobs. Officers began targeting the 2 to 4 p.m. time frame and monitoring seven particular spots where past incidents had occurred most.
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