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29 TABLE 9 A total of 195 measures were mentioned by the respon- IMPACT OF VIOLENCE ON BUS OPERATORS dents, of which 33% were technology measures, 24% policy- Impacts of Violence % related measures, 25% were policing and personnel methods, Injury-related claims 68 and 18% training/HR, as shown in Figure 9. Of those men- Operators showing increased anxiety/stress 52 Absenteeism/diminished productivity 28 tioned, 99 measures received a ranking of 1 or 2. Of the tech- Union grievances 20 nology measures, 48% received a 1 or 2 ranking; of the policy None 6 measures, 39% received a 1 or 2 ranking, as did 53% of the Total Responses 50 policing and personnel measures, and 69% of the training/HR measures. It can be noted that agencies typically do not rely on a single measure to prevent assaults and other crime against their operators. The importance of using a layered security may experience increased levels of anxiety and stress, which strategy or combinations of measures was indicated by some can cause them to become distracted while on duty or less of the respondents. For instance, one respondent noted that calm under pressure. When asked about issues experienced the combination of security cameras and increased uniformed by bus operators or operations as a result of violence against police presence has minimized the potential for confrontation bus operators, as shown in Table 9, 68% of the 50 respon- between passengers and operators. dents to this question reported that they have had injury- related claims, and more than half reported that their opera- tors showed increased anxiety and stress. Twenty-eight percent Technology reported that their bus operations were affected by absenteeism Of the 65 responses provided in the technology category, 34 and diminished productivity, and 20% reported union griev- cited video surveillance and six mentioned audio surveillance. ances. A few respondents noted that their bus operations have As seen in Figure 10, 20 or almost 60% of the 34 respondents experienced none of these issues. Small agencies were less ranked video surveillance first or second. Although seven cited likely to report that their operators have been showing in- silent alarm or panic button, none ranked it first or second. Of creased anxiety or stress. Larger agencies tended to report the five respondents who cited barriers, two ranked it first or more injury-related claims and absenteeism or diminished pro- second. There were two other respondents who noted that their ductivity than midsize agencies, and midsize agencies were agencies were considering or were planning to implement bar- more likely to report absenteeism or diminished productivity riers because these were expected to mitigate operator assault. than small agencies. Multiple responses were allowed. Other technologies mentioned were radio/other communi- cations, AVL/location grids, fare collection changes, and EFFECTIVE MEASURES integration of systems. Survey respondents were asked in an open-ended question to provide the five most effective security measures that can Policy protect bus operators from passenger assault. Forty-seven In terms of policy measures, no one policy measure domi- respondents provided their opinions regarding the most effec- nated the responses (see Figure 11). Of the 46 responses in tive measures and listed up to five measures. A few respon- the policy category, eight mentioned cooperation with the dents provided more than five because some of the measures police, and eight stated work rules or policies and proce- were considered ties. The responses are summarized in Fig- dures. Six indicated signage as an effective measure, includ- ure 9. The percentages of effective measures with 1 and 2 ing signage alerting passengers and the use of video or audio rankings from each category of measures are indicated in surveillance and information about the penalty for operator parentheses in the chart. assault. Prosecution of offenders was cited five times, and management support and media campaign, along with out- reach to unions and zero tolerance/suspension-of-service policies, were each mentioned four times. Three responses were in the category of community and school outreach, var- ious committees. Two indicated legislation to increase penal- ties for assaults against operators, and various committees. With respect to their agency's suspension-of-service policy, one respondent stated that the policy has been "extremely successful" and "not one of the patrons has resurfaced as a subsequent violator." One respondent noted that the follow- ing change mitigated assaults: In the past, problems with cus- tomers were to be resolved at the scene (on the bus); this pol- icy was changed so that the passenger would be separated FIGURE 9 Effective measures. from the operator. A supervisor now arrives at the scene,

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30 FIGURE 10 Effective technology measures. escorts the passenger off the bus, and drives the passenger to fare payment and other agency rules, that operators "should his or her destination. Another respondent mentioned that avoid [making] exceptions, which confuse passengers" and restructuring school routes so that the same operator is used may ultimately result in an assault. Another respondent be- on specific school routes was an effective measure. Several lieved that the agency's policy of "having operators only policy-related insights were provided in the additional com- challenge a passenger that is violating a rule once" is the key ments question of the survey, some of which are included in to mitigating operator assaults, because continued "heated what follows. discussion" with passengers would increase the likelihood of an assault. "The vast majority of assaults occur over fare "The best prevention is good Customer Care and Service. enforcement issues. In spite of training advising operators Taking care of passengers by using techniques that indicate not to pursue the matter with irate customers, the fact remains compassion, consistency, and fairness reduce the likelihood that many get caught up in the moment, push the issue, and of assaults." The respondent also recommends, regarding ultimately end up getting assaulted." "Drivers are instructed FIGURE 11 Effective policy measures.

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31 FIGURE 12 Effective policing and personnel measures. to never leave the driver's seat to confront a passenger or to officers at bus terminals, constituted 19 of these responses, interdict in a criminal act upon others on the vehicle." The with more than half ranking it first or second. Nine responses respondent goes on to note that the operator may only leave indicated plainclothes officers and seven cited supervision. the seat to flee an attacker or in the act of self-defense. The Policedriver collaboration was mentioned six times. Other authors have a caveat regarding the policy to never assist pas- responses included supervision and crime analysis and man- sengers--although the policy does protect the bus operator, agement techniques, such as CompStat, and posting and dis- if an incident does occur and a passenger is injured, negative tributing photos of offenders. One respondent provided the publicity against the agency and the operator may arise. following comment: "[T]he CompStat methodology and Another respondent stated that "partnership with law enforce- partnering with local police jurisdictions that our operators ment is key" and cited the importance of making local police service, has proven that it is effective in reducing crime as aware of agency "schedules and routines" and "equipment well as providing a safe riding environment for our employ- and practices." ees and patrons." Policing and Personnel Training/Human Resources Forty-nine responses were received in the policing and per- Thirty-five of the measures were in the training/human re- sonnel category (see Figure 12). The presence and visibility sources category (see Figure 13). The top response, bus oper- of uniformed officers, which include patrols, bus checks, and ator training, was mentioned 20 times. Fifteen or 75% of the FIGURE 13 Effective training/human resources measures.

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32 20 ranked it first or second. The types of bus operator train- bal skills, and the importance of treating passengers fairly. A ing cited by respondents were customer service, conflict mit- respondent stated that the bus operators "prevent assaults on igation, and diversity training or generic training with no spe- a daily basis. Training is the only way to prepare an operator cific training area specified. Eight respondents mentioned for this type of event [conflict situations]. The bus operator self-defense or assault prevention training, and seven indi- must know when to `let it go' and report the situation to a cated "other," which included operator discipline, perfor- supervisor or officer." Another respondent notes that their mance monitoring, targeted training for operators involved in agency has "utilized recurrent training in passenger relations frequent incidents, and supervisor training. for those operators with a disproportionate number of negative customer encounters." "National curriculum for bus operators" Training-related insights were offered by several respon- is proposed by one respondent. A few noted the importance dents in the open-ended request for additional comments. of supervisor involvement in resolving disputes. Video record- Several noted the importance of operator behavior and atti- ings of incidents are used by some agencies as a training tool tude, provision of good customer service, the operator's ver- for operators.