FORDHAM, the Bronx — City bus operators made a plea to mayor de Blasio Thursday, urging him to do more for their security.
Members of the Transit Workers Union converged onto Grand Concourse to speak out against an uptick of attacks on their drivers and what they say is City Hall’s refusal to tackle the problem.
“Everyone in the United States of America is entitled to a safe working environment and we are not excluded we are not exempt from that,” Terence Layne, Chief shop steward with Manhattanville Bus Depot.
Union members boarded buses in the Fordham section where they urged riders to demand that the mayor deploy more police officers onto city buses.
The TWU says as many as 29 felony assaults against bus operators have happened between October and March, as well as 800 other incidents of harassment like spitting and punching.
One of those victims was bus operator Lupe Guallapa, who was attacked after simply informing a rider it was the last stop.
“He just grabbed my hair and started hitting me and throwing me on the floor and started choking me,” a tearful Guallapa told PIX11 News.
From the street to the underground, violence on mass transit appears to be on the rise. According to police, four gruesome attacks happened in the span of a few hours Wednesday morning including a stabbing and a slashing.
Mayor Bill de Blasio insists the MTA has the coverage it needs.
“We have a lot of police in the subways,” the mayor said at a press briefing Wednesday.
The MTA is pushing back on that, urging the mayor to get 600 more officers on the ground.