BC Transit has announced it will be installing interior metal-and-glass doors on more buses to protect drivers from potential assault.
Starting in 2017, interior “full driver doors” were tested on three buses in Victoria, one in Kelowna and one in Abbotsford.
Now BC Transit, with the Arrow Global Corporation, is designing and manufacturing driver doors for all high capacity buses (double-deckers), heavy-duty buses (regular 12-metre transit buses) and medium-duty buses (fewer seats than heavy-duty buses) across the province.
A “full-driver door” includes a transparent piece of laminated tempered glass with an anti-glare coating and a stainless steel base that is put in place to protect the driver. John Palmer, BC Transit director of safety and emergency management, said following the 2017 pilot project, minor modifications were made for better sightline for the driver.
Palmer said over the last five years, there have been 32 reported assaults. While the number has not continuously increased, Palmer said those assaults are the reason the doors are getting put in.
“We have to get that number down,” Palmer said. There have been a total of 11 claims for short-term disability or long-term disability, since 2014, for bus operators in the Capital Regional District due to acts of violence or force.
The first buses with the full driver door are expected to be delivered to BC Transit later this year. BC Transit said 650 buses in the provincial fleet will be retrofitted with the driver door in early 2020.
Buses scheduled for replacement within two years will not have a door installed. Instead, the replacement buses will be equipped with the door.
“BC Transit is on track to have new replacement and expansion buses come with the full driver door installed,” BC Transit wrote in a release.
The entire project is expected to cost approximately $6.5 million.
BC Transit says light-duty buses, which provide different types of services like handyDART, do not require the doors.
Learn more about the doors below: