In a move to make the job safer for bus operators, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority plans to install a protective shield in the last of its buses tomorrow.
The JTA Board of Directors approved allocating about $600,000 to purchase the protective shields back in March, says JTA spokesman David Cawton. He says they’ve been working since summer to retrofit older buses so they could install the added protection on every bus in the fleet.
“These shields protect about 75 percent of the bus operator while they are sitting in their chair, driving the bus,” says Cawton.
He says there have been a few instances where bus operators in Jacksonville were attacked and it’s starting to be a national trend, so the Board decided to be proactive with the safety of the employees.
The clear shields are retractable, which means the operators can choose to move them out of the way if they want interact with customers. But Cawton says they can quickly move them back in place if they have to.