Congress Stalled on Bus Driver Safety in DC  

From Metro City Labor News this morning:

LABOR UPDATES: Transit Workers Still Waiting for Increased Safety Measures: A recent shooting injuring a bus operator outside the Anacostia Metro station underscores the need for the US Congress to act on a measure that would increase security for transit workers, says a letter posted on the ATU Local 689 website. This "shooting demonstrates the need for increased safety on our region's public transit system," says the letter. "Over the past five years, assaults of Metrobus operators have more than doubled, from 36 in 2002 to 84 last year." The DC City Council passed the "Transit Operator Protection and Enhanced Penalty Act of 2008" in April (DC Council Increases Metro Worker Safety 4/7/08 UC) but the US Congress has stalled on giving final approval to the measure. "There are 10 Metro Transit Police officers who are supposed to protect 2,200 drivers, said Roland Jeter, first vice president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689," reported Allison Klein and Sindya N. Bhanoo of the Washington Post on Thursday, June 19. "About half of the buses have security cameras, and many have defective emergency buttons, which drivers use to call for help, he said."

Come on Democrats, act already. If you ride the metro or take a metro bus, you should act now and make it possible for these workers to be safer. They still won't be safe, but just taking a little action could help make them just a little bit safer.

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