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Where fareboxes & drivers take hit

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Where fareboxes & drivers take hit

BY CAT CONTIGUGLIA and PETE DONOHUE

DAILY NEWS WRITERS

September 4th 2008

 

alg_bus.jpg

DeCrescenzo for News

Brooklyn’s B44 is among buses with the worst record for attacks on bus drivers.

Since last January, 103 were reported in city.

 

They are the toughest bus routes in the city, the ones where riders beat the fare - and sometimes the driver.

 

Drivers working 11 routes, most in Brooklyn and the Bronx, have been assaulted 103 times between January 2007 and July, an NYC Transit listing of the most attack-prone routes shows.

 

Many of those routes are also on another roster - the one for the most fare-beating.

 

"Most involve drivers getting punched, kicked, beaten," said Joseph Smith, senior vice president of buses. "Some have had their eye sockets broken, teeth broken, you name it."

 

The agency has a broad definition of assault, ranging from being spat on to being punched or seriously injured with a weapon. Most of the 103 reported assaults are not minor, Smith said, adding that many start with a "fare dispute."

 

Because of the risk, drivers are instructed to politely remind riders of the fare, but not to challenge them, officials said. Still, even that can lead to trouble with the most volatile of riders, bus managers said.

 

"If they don't want to pay, I just leave them alone," one driver on the B44 route in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, said Wednesday, declining to give his name.

 

"I usually don't demand that they pay. That's why I haven't had any trouble. That's where the problems start, the fights...."

 

Another driver on the B44 Wednesday said he has also managed to avoid physical assaults, but not verbal attacks.

 

The most notable: an intoxicated man in a wheelchair boarded the bus going the wrong way, away from his destination. Rather than accept an offer to be let off, the passenger kept riding and cursing the driver out.

 

"He cursed me up and down the whole line for 2-1/2 hours," the driver said.

 

The worst route is the Bx36, which tallied 12 assaults in 2007 and the first six months of this year, according to the NYC Transit data.

 

A driver in the Bronx, possibly on that route, was badly beaten last year by a man wearing brass knuckles, Smith said.

 

He gave this account:

 

The driver told a woman who boarded that her MetroCard was no good. She loudly complained that she had just bought it from a man on the street, and that man entered the bus and pummeled the driver. He was hospitalized for several days with shattered facial bones.

 

Transport Workers Union Local 100 President Roger Toussaint said the union won legislation in 2002 making assault on a transit worker a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.

 

But he said the law needs to be strengthened, noting it has been interpreted in the courts to apply to only the most vicious attacks resulting in permanent injuries.

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This is proof that the cops need to be on the buses or the bus drivers need to be armed with guns. That shit is disgusting and the laws need to be strengthened big time.

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This is proof that the cops need to be on the buses or the bus drivers need to be armed with guns. That shit is disgusting and the laws need to be strengthened big time.

 

Yep.

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It is terrible, Im sure most of them being attacked are by Public High School Kids.

 

They all need to grow up.

 

I expected Brooklyn and the Bx. to be on the list because well to be true, thats where the wildness occurs.

 

Protection is needed

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It is terrible, Im sure most of them being attacked are by Public High School Kids.

 

They all need to grow up.

 

I expected Brooklyn and the Bx. to be on the list because well to be true, thats where the wildness occurs.

 

Protection is needed

 

That's the truth. Them kids are the biggest problem and they are the once that need to be regulated the most. When the school hours hit, them cops need to ride the lines with the most School kids on them, plain clothed or in uniform and show them who's running things. There needs to be 2-3 cops on each bus for the front, middle and back. Hell, make it 4 or 5 cops depending on what line it is. This is perfect timing now that school is back in session.

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It's nowhere near as bad as it used to be in Brooklyn though. Especially through ENY, Bed Stuy, Bushwick and Crown Hgts! I had no idea the Flatbush runs were having these problems on any buses other than the B46.

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That photo of 9683 is nice!! I wonder if the driver questioned him.......

 

 

Anyways they could always give B/O's boxing lessons..... :P:rolleyes:

 

 

 

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I haven't had an issue yet with the kids, I am not at all intimidate by some punk high school kids from bk. They don't know that I am the conductor who doesn't mind messing up service I will sit in a station with my doors closed until the cops get there.

 

I worked the (Q) the other day and there was cop after cop at all the stops they were not playing lol.

 

As for a DOB I am not shocked about the statistics that have been popping up with the fare beaters and now this story.

 

I mean hey if some ignorant fool wants to assault me on duty by all means go ahead I get 2 years off with pay and he will be rotting for the 2 out of the 7 years sitting in jail.

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With all due respect, you are far safer in your cab than a driver. Unfortunately, the buses used by the MTA don't have anything near that kind of protection for a driver. It would be unfortunate to have to put that on the wish list for future buses, but maybe some kind of cab is a necessity now.

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With all due respect, you are far safer in your cab than a driver. Unfortunately, the buses used by the MTA don't have anything near that kind of protection for a driver. It would be unfortunate to have to put that on the wish list for future buses, but maybe some kind of cab is a necessity now.

 

What you mean my cab to protect me lol that cab means nothing, try observing the platform and have to worry about some fool taking a baseball bat or any other kind of object to your head the train can get up to 15mph getting out the station maybe even faster.

 

My head is a big fat target out there specially since I look like a white boy and some of the gangstas see me out in bk and they are like its cracker smacking time lol.

 

I almost got whacked the other day thank god I saw it coming and was able to get in from the window in time.

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True, but at least you have that option. (plus CCTV at some stations) A driver can't have eyes in the back of his head when he's driving. He really needs a cab too when you think about it. Taxi drivers get partitions at least.

 

Don't get me wrong. You should be able to carry a gun too. You should even have a little gunport in your door to stick it through like an armored truck. :P

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There should be police that when are on patrol (foot, Car whatever)that pull over buses or stop in front of them when they are in the stop and ask the driver on board if there are any problems or farebeats. Or they should blitz a line with cops. For example the B44, every bus should have a cop on it for the day or 2 then switch to the next line. So on and so forth. I think that this would keep people on their toes about fare beating that is running ramped and is mostly the reason why the assaults are happen in the first place. One more point a lot of bus operators do not say a thing, then when I say something (OH you the only one that says that ,or NO one told me that before) all bus operators need to keep the same standards at all times so people know that they cannot get over. One more thing MTA should run a TV ad about bus courtesy and farebeats. Would go long long way

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As for a DOB I am not shocked about the statistics that have been popping up with the fare beaters and now this story.

 

I mean hey if some ignorant fool wants to assault me on duty by all means go ahead I get 2 years off with pay and he will be rotting for the 2 out of the 7 years sitting in jail.

 

If they get caught, then yes. I would have loved the two years off, but would be pissed if the person wasn't caught.......

 

With all due respect, you are far safer in your cab than a driver. Unfortunately, the buses used by the MTA don't have anything near that kind of protection for a driver. It would be unfortunate to have to put that on the wish list for future buses, but maybe some kind of cab is a necessity now.

 

The union has been talking about that for a long time now......

 

My head is a big fat target

 

I agree........

 

 

 

One more point a lot of bus operators do not say a thing, then when I say something (OH you the only one that says that ,or NO one told me that before) all bus operators need to keep the same standards at all times so people know that they cannot get over.

 

That is not a bus operators job, and it never should be. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. No Bus Operator is the law, and if you try to play cop, and get assaulted, MTA will not back you up. Fare disputes is a huge no no, by MTA and union rules. If it is found out that you got assaulted for disputing a fare, you will have an unpaid more than two years off. You will have no job. Let MTA and NYPD do their job. It was hard enough to get the bus from point A to point B, in one piece. I didn't need to create a problem for myself. Customer safety is the focus. Not MTA's $2. You as a driver got paid regardless.......

 

I think every bus driver should be armed with a taser gun...

 

MTA can't prevent all assaults, but the over-whelming majority comes from fare disputes. A drivers job is point A to point B safely, and to get home at night, unharmed physically. Mentally, and emotionally, that MTA position will drain most.......

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That is not a bus operators job, and it never should be. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. No Bus Operator is the law, and if you try to play cop, and get assaulted, (MTA)will not back you up. Fare disputes is a huge no no, by (MTA) and union rules. If it is found out that you got assaulted for disputing a fare, you will have an unpaid more than two years off. You will have no job. Let (MTA) and NYPD do their job. It was hard enough to get the bus from point A to point B, in one piece. I didn't need to create a problem for myself. Customer safety is the focus. Not (MTA)'s $2. You as a driver got paid regardless.......

 

(MTA) can't prevent all assaults, but the over-whelming majority comes from fare disputes. A drivers job is point A to point B safely, and to get home at night, unharmed physically. Mentally, and emotionally, that (MTA) position will drain most.......

 

But still, there's gotta be something done about it, whether it's police presence on the bus or something. As an ex-B/O, I assume you have seen your fair share of farebeaters?

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I basically agree with DOB2RTO in the present circumstances, but the ability to at least stop the bus and wait for someone else to deal with a situation is one that is also risky. Just imagine a gang is assaulting some other customer while crossing a bridge or while on a parkway (there are sevral routes that do this). A driver should be able to stop and contact authorities and not be attacked him/herself, nor feel you must ignore it until you get to a "safer area". (inexcusable even then, though)

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But still, there's gotta be something done about it, whether it's police presence on the bus or something. As an ex-B/O, I assume you have seen your fair share of farebeaters?

 

I did a pick on the Bx36 (#1 farebeat Bronx route), and 1 pick on the Bx41 (#2 Bronx farebeat route). I agree the police should do all they can do about it, but my point still stands. It is in no way the Bus Operators responsibility to enforce payment. That is management's, and NYPD's job. There is no gray area here. You risk your job, enforcing fare payment. It sounds crazy, but MTA would rather the person ride free, than pay you to sit home for 2 years collecting a check. They say not to fight with customers about the fare, cause they do not want you to get harmed. That's just "nice talk". They really don't give a rats ass about you, and they will show it. They care about their budget, and someone getting paid to sit home for 2 years, hurts that budget....

 

I basically agree with DOB2RTO in the present circumstances, but the ability to at least stop the bus and wait for someone else to deal with a situation is one that is also risky. Just imagine a gang is assaulting some other customer while crossing a bridge or while on a parkway (there are sevral routes that do this). A driver should be able to stop and contact authorities and not be attacked him/herself, nor feel you must ignore it until you get to a "safer area". (inexcusable even then, though)

 

Now the situation is different, as it involves bodily injury to someone on your bus. Then you still do not get involved, but you stop in a safe spot, and call Command, and they will get the police. The reason you stop in a safe spot is, you do not put everyones life at risk stopping in an unsafe spot. Lawsuits say this. You stop on a P'way or Bridge, and can't get all the way off the road, with the speeds on H'ways/P'ways you will get hit in the rear, or cause an accident. Now 1 persons injuries due to an assault, is now 40, 80, 100 injuries due to your unsafe actions. There are some rules that you must follow, for the safety of all customers aboard your bus. Some rules you can't make exceptions...........

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Possibly. That can be a "damned if you do..." moment, but if there's little traffic, slowing and stopping sounds preferable than assisting the suspects in an easier escape. I guess that has to be judged at the moment.

 

Since you're a conductor, I have a different question....let's say you're working on a Manhattan bound (A) between Broad Channel and Howard Beach and someone's being mugged on your car. (Muggers usually wait to strike right before the doors open, but hey) Wouldn't the right idea be to slow or stop the train until authorities arrive?

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