MBTA begins rolling out buses with barriers for drivers

New 39 bus with a driver barrier

The T's Joe Pesaturo shows us a new 39 bus at Back Bay with a barrier to help protect the driver from the sort of people with anger-management issues who insist on taking buses.



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real sad

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especially since most MBTA drivers do a fine job, are professional and provide a great service to our city.

its awful that they have to put up with this shit,


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The MTA had these installed a while back on their buses. It's good that the MBTA is learning from its big brother!

Time will tell

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It seems like the practical issues raised by this semi-barrier may make this sub-optimal, but we'll see. Will this really protect the drivers from the kinds of assaults (spitting, thrown drinks etc) that too commonly have been aimed at the drivers? I'm skeptical.

It seems

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it blocks out enough personal space such that the driver can radio for help and bring a moving bus to a safe space to prevent an accident.

I often laugh at NYC trains and subways, which have emblazoned next to every door of every vehicle, "Assault of an MTA employee is a felony according to (specific law) with fines up to (dollars) and (years) in jail." Apparently, there is a reason it is posted there.

Good Grief

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The sad solution to the rash of attacks on bus drivers is to put them in a glass cage.The news is reporting that Quincy Police officers were injured when a drug dealer tried to run them over in the bus way at Quincy Center station which is an open drug market.

What would you propose?

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Well, it's not at all clear that this is the only solution being put into place -- but since you think this is "sad", what solution would make you happy? Or are you sad because it appears to be necessary?

A disintegrator ray gun would

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A disintegrator ray gun would be better, but this is a start. If people knew they'd be turning into steam and a pile of carbon dust, these things wouldn't happen so often.


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These aren't a bad thing, but - how much will it cost to install in all of the MBTA's buses? This isn't an organization that's exactly overflowing with cash.


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That's a cost we're going to have to eat because apparently, as riders, we're not civilized enough to treat drivers decently enough.

Or perhaps money well spent

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A driver recovering after an attack doesn't work, meaning either hiring more drivers or giving existing drivers overtime. Perhaps medical costs are sunk since drivers should have health insurance, but there are still costs.

And as you say, since some fellow riders cannot act in a civilized manner, we kind of owe it to the drivers to make sure they stay safe.

Or ...

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When a bus does not crash because the driver remains in control of it during a psycho attack.

Possible Option?

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I'm not sure if the shields were part of the original specs, but if that was the case with the new artics at least, then the costs would already be included in the contract price. I have heard that the new Xcelsiors (1600's, 1700's, 1800's) will be getting them, too. The buses already in service at Arborway and Cabot will likely be making a quick trip back to Readville so New Flyer can retrofit them. The Flyer D40's, already 8-10 years old at this point, could probably get them as part of mid-life overhauls or other major body work.

Pretty damn unfortunate that we are at this point, however.

I see this as another HUGE

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I see this as another HUGE waste of money. I got an up close look at one of these. If someone wants to get around this thing and get at the driver, they can and will. After the T installs enough of these and realizes how worthless they are there'll be a second purchase....of shields that actually protect the drivers. There's no way this was the best option the T found.


with your locked front door, security system or no

sleep tight!

At least my front door fills

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At least my front door fills the entire frame. It doesn't have a 3 foot gap around half of it.

What's your solution?

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You know, you remind me of all those sophomore college kids who love to talk about how easy it is to break into cars, or way too many guys who love to talk about how easy it would be to win a fight or defeat an attack, when they have no real world experience whatsoever. No one is saying that this barrier forms an impregnable fortress that can't be defeated given time, an absence of intervention, and a reckless disregard for one's own safety. The question is, just how fast do you think that YOU could get around one on a moving bus? Particularly if the driver slams on the brakes and sends you flying? And is your assessment anything but hot air?

This is my second attempt to

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This is my second attempt to reply. I think you are missing the point on what these things look like. It's not about a criminal overcoming a realistic barrier. They barely cover the driver. There are several feet of opening around 50% of them. They are nothing more than sneeze guards. There has to be a better product out there.

To get around the barrier

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a person would have to climb over the farebox, then the steering wheel, and then have to magically turn their bodies 90 degrees to attack the driver. So, yah, I'd say the barriers are a reasonable deterrent against attacks.