News Article

NJ Bus Drivers Support New 'Protection Plan'

By Katie Colaneri, WBGO News
October 12, 2012

Listen to Report

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NJ Transit Bus Driver Scott Flyer says he's never felt unsafe on his route, but appreciates the company's efforts.

New Jersey Transit is considering a nearly $2 million dollar plan to fit more of its buses with safety shields. Those behind the wheel are supporting it.

Cynthia Mackenzie has been driving NJ Transit buses through Newark Penn Station for 27 years. Despite her years behind the wheel, she says she’d feel safer having a plastic partition around her.

“We do have cameras, but a camera’s not going to protect me in my seat.”

Mackenzie can speak from experience.

“Somebody threw like a can at me one time and threw some paper at me one time, but thank God it didn’t hit me.”

A spokeswoman for NJ Transit says assaults on drivers have dropped since over the last couple of years and 70 buses in North Jersey have already been fitted with the safety shields. It was part of a pilot program that began after a bus driver in Newark was stabbed seven times by a passenger. 

The program being considered would add shields on more than a third of its fleet.

The NJ Transit board is expected to vote on the plan on Monday.

NPR

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