CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago CTA bus drivers get people to and from work and school all around the clock, but bus drivers can also be a target. A female CTA bus driver was grabbed and assaulted by a passenger on her route Wednesday morning.
CBS 2’s Audrina Bigos reports a flyer is being passed out by the union representing Chicago CTA bus driver with the message: “Stop assaults on operators.”
Bus drivers say they are fed up with being attacked while on the job, but CTA says what happened Wednesday morning is rare.
A clear, plastic safety shield is all that stands between CTA bus drivers and anyone looking to cause trouble or possibly hurt them.
The union representing the drivers wants more protection. On average, the union says each month, 12 to 15 drivers call in to report being assaulted.
The latest assault was reported around 6 a.m. Wednesday on a 95th Street bus. It was near a turnaround at 86th and Damen when Chicago Police say a man riding the bus grabbed the driver’s breasts and demanded sex.
Keith Hill, the President of ATU Local 241, said it has to stop. “Assaults on women is a major concern to us because she’s very vulnerable in that seat.”
This summer, Hill started pushing for workspaces that provided drivers with a wall surrounding them, along with a window.
“The window goes up in 1.3 seconds, so when we recognize a situation, we can just push a button,” said Hill.
Every bus has at least 11 cameras, but drivers want a more proactive measure, like more officers on troubled routes.
“We take pride in moving this city from point A to point B. All we’re asking is to help us do it safely,” Hill said.
CTA would not talk on camera, but sent a statement saying they are outraged by the assault that happened Wednesday morning and will seek felony charges.