Bus safety barriers introduced at Coast Mountain Bus Company

  • All future orders of new buses will come with safety barrier already installed. Buses will start arriving by early 2018
  • 208 air-conditioned New Flyer Excelsior buses will be retrofitted
  • Six trolley buses will be retrofitted as part of an expanded pilot program
  • Retrofits will be underway by the end of 2017 and completed within two years
  • Within 10 years, about 75 per cent of the fleet will have safety barriers installed

Design features

  • Sliding front portion allows easy customer communication and controls glare
  • Fixed solid portion means barrier prevents blindside punches from behind—even when the sliding portion is open
  • Offers protection from assaults including jumping assailants, thrown objects, climbing over and spitting

History

Coast Mountain Bus Company has undergone a two-year process of piloting various barrier designs, assessing effectiveness, collecting user feedback and modifying designs.

  • In fall 2014, as part of a partnership with WorkSafeBC, BC Transit, Unifor 111 and Unifor 333, Coast Mountain Bus Company gathered feedback from employees on a prototype safety barrier
  • Based on the feedback, adjustments were made to the design
  • CMBC continued exploring potential designs after pilot program with partners concluded
  • Since the initial prototype, five additional prototypes of four different designs were put into service for testing and feedback
  • Based on feedback, potential final design of the barrier was piloted in fall 2016 and was the solution widely preferred by employees 

What is a transit operator safety barrier?

Safety barriers are a physical barrier typically made of a hard and transparent material composed of plastic and/or glass. The barrier is able to withstand a significant amount of force, and is contoured to the driving compartment of the bus. This creates a physical separation between the transit operator and customers, while still providing clear sightlines and the ability to verbally communicate with passengers. 

Why is Coast Mountain Bus Company introducing safety barriers?

The safety of our employees and customers is our top priority. Assaults on operators are unacceptable, and can put the lives of many people at risk. A safety barrier is one of many tools that can help prevent or mitigate assaults.

What other measures is TransLink taking to ensure safety on buses?

Coast Mountain Bus Company uses many tools and techniques to help prevent assaults, including a radio system and assault alarms, on-board cameras, Transit Security, Transit Police, communications to customers, Violent Incident Prevention training, and supporting the prosecution of those who assault staff. In spite of these efforts, 106 Coast Mountain Bus Company transit operators were assaulted in 2016.

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    • Address: 400 - 287 Nelson's Court, New Westminster, BC
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