Special constables on Winnipeg Transit buses are a good first step, but bus drivers want more done to keep them safe.
Jim Girden, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union, told a city committee today that he wants the constables to also have the power to detain people.
"Everyone will be safer," Girden said.
"It will take more than just being a commissionaire… if the driver is being assaulted they could be too."
A recommendation from the city calls for hiring six more transit inspectors who would be given additional constable power to ticket people and order passengers off buses.
Girden said he’d also like to see bus manufacturers redesign buses to give drivers their own door and be protected behind a shield.
Tim Bahry, a bus driver and assistant chief union steward, says he has been punched in the arm and had people swear at him while driving.
"It’s getting rough out there," Bahry said.
"You really have to be aware of your situation at all times… we let everyone on the bus late at night. You lock your doors at night.
"We open our door for everyone."