TWU PRESS RELEASE
FTA ISSUES FIRST-EVER GENERAL DIRECTIVE ABOUT TRANSIT WORKER ASSAULTS TO ALL TRANSIT AGENCIES IN THE U.S
TWU: WORKERS MUST BE BETTER PROTECTED
The General Directive requires all transit agencies serving urbanized areas with at least 50,000 residents to immediately conduct a risk assessment for assaults on transit workers in their systems. The agencies must then work with frontline transit workers (through Safety Committees established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law) to develop mitigation strategies that prevent the kinds of assaults at their property. These plans and the assessment must be submitted to the FTA for review, data collection, and policy development.
Statement from Transport Workers Union International President John Samuelsen
“This is an unprecedented and clear directive from the federal government that transit agencies must do much more to protect bus operators, conductors, and other transit workers. Transit workers are getting attacked and abused every single day. They are getting harassed, menaced, spat upon, beaten up, even shot and killed. This plague of violence against this vital workforce has been going on for far too long.”
While this directive is a positive development, it’s a national shame that this is the first real action the FTA has taken to prevent assaults like this 8 years after Congress first directed them to set minimum protection standards for transit workers. This is the first step to ending this threat. The FTA must quickly build on this by completing a strong rule that protects every transit worker across the country from assault.”
This is the first time the FTA has issued a general directive to all transit agency in the country regarding assaults against transit workers, and only the second issued ever.
Transit workers assaults have plagued this vital workforce for far too long. Tragic headlines are all too common.
Bernard Gribbin, a bus operator and a TWU member, was shot and killed by a passenger on the job October 26 in Philadelphia. TWU Subway Train Operator Garrett Goble was killed March 27, 2020, when a deranged arsonist set his train on fire in New York City.
Non-lethal assaults are more frequent and are a daily occurrence. In NYC, for example, 110 MTA transit workers were assaulted on the job in 2022, according to authority data. In the first 10 months of this year, 144 transit workers were assaulted — a 31% increase over the same period last year.
NOTE: Politico reported on the directive with TWU comments: https://subscriber.politicopro.com/article/2023/12/fta-proposes-much-delayed-transit-worker-assault-directive-00132510?source=email