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70 CHAPTER SEVEN CONCLUSIONS Passenger assault of bus operators continues to be a signifi- ator training, and officer presence and patrols. The most cant concern of transit managers, bus operators, and their problematic assault type was verbal threats, intimidations, or unions. One of the survey respondents observed that it "mir- harassment. The next most problematic was being spat upon. rors a larger problem of `incivility' in society and disrespect Primary factors contributing to operator assaults were fare for authority." Although deaths and serious injury of bus enforcement and intoxicated passengers or drug users, fol- operators resulting from these assaults are rare, when they lowed by rule enforcement other than fare enforcement, do happen they send shock waves throughout the transit school/youth-related violence, and individuals with mental community and the riding public, and make media headlines. illness. The time period when the assaults against operators Because aggravated assaults that result in serious physical typically occur were reported to be evening/late night/early injuries can be preceded by minor ones, all incidents need to morning, followed by the afternoon peak period and school be reported, monitored, and taken seriously. Assaults on bus dismissal times. operators have affected bus operations in terms of increased injury-related claims and operator anxiety, stress, and reduced Almost all responding agencies indicated having a stan- productivity. Therefore, transit agencies have been working dard operating procedure in place for response to operator with their Transit Police, security personnel, and local law assaults. About half stated that their local laws provided enforcement to implement effective security measures to more severe punishments for those who assault bus opera- address violence against their employees. tors. Fare enforcement and other rules enforcement policies ranged from zero tolerance to lenient. Operators were typi- cally expected to be stricter with those rules that were also SUMMARY OF FINDINGS illegal according to state or local laws. Agencies are using a range of methods and combinations of measures to protect their bus operators from passenger All responding agencies indicated that they provided assault. In the measure selection process, they consider sev- customer relations training and the majority provided con- eral key factors including effectiveness and cost, feasibility, flict mitigation and diversity training. A third of the respon- versatility, liability issues, and operator and passenger per- dents provided self-defense training. Onboard technologies spectives. Another key factor includes the types of assaults to protect operators included radio or phone communica- the agency has been experiencing, because certain measures tions, silent alarm or panic button, panic button connected are more appropriate for some assaults than for others. For with a headsign, video surveillance, audio surveillance, and example, some assaults are completely unprovoked and can automatic vehicle location (AVL) systems. A few agencies occur out of the blue to even stellar operators. For these reported having real-time video streaming capability. Sev- assault types, barriers, self-defense training, and self-defense eral reported using or testing operator barriers (partial enclo- tools may be more effective than other methods. For assaults sures); none reported using or testing full enclosures or preceded by a fare or other dispute, operator training or pol- compartments. icy changes may be considered. Audio surveillance can be useful for addressing verbal attacks, and if school-related Although not a specific security measure, the importance violence is a problem, expanded school outreach initiatives of customer service in assault prevention was mentioned by may be considered. survey respondents. It stands to reason that excellence in cus- tomer service would generate highly satisfied customers who would be less likely to assault their bus operators. Survey Findings The synthesis survey was distributed to 88 multimodal and Profile Findings bus-only agencies in the United States, Canada, and China. A 75% response rate was achieved. The profile studies highlighted many different measures. These measures were grouped into the following categories-- Survey findings indicated, in general, that the most effec- technology and information management; personnel, policing, tive measures are considered to be video surveillance, oper- and training; and agency policy and legislation.