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Sun Tran adding new barriers to keep drivers safe

Posted at 4:46 PM, Apr 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-12 20:18:43-04

Sun Tran is installing 27 barriers this week to increase driver safety. 

The buses already have cameras and fare enforcement officers that occasionally ride the bus, but drivers say they need the additional safety. 

Each barrier costs nearly $4,500 and made of plexiglass.

However, some drivers say this will not be enough to keep them safe. 

"I have had some very scary times on the bus where I was in fear for my life to be honest with you," said Sun Tran bus driver Roseanne Randolph. "Some severely mentally ill people that ride the bus so the partitions are very much needed and it's a shame they all can't be put in now." 

A spokesperson at Teamsters Local Union No. 104 says there have been at least 35 physical assaults to bus drivers last year. 

"We have had a lot of drivers get assaulted," Randolph explained. "Black eyes, hurt shoulders, spit on, sodas thrown on them, physically punched in the face, so it's very much needed the enclosure."

However, other drivers think this partition will not help as much as expected. 

"You can still reach around it you know and if someone sets their mind to it they are going to do what they are going to do anyway," explained George Chamberlain. 

A Sun Tran's spokesperson says an additional 41 partitions will be installed in June and the company has plans to have most of their fleet equipped by 2022.