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After Urine Attack on Driver, Metrobus X2 Operators Refuse to Drive

Following last week’s urine attack on a Metrobus driver, at least a half-dozen drivers of the X2 line refused to drive without a police escort Friday - an action that Metro called an “unauthorized labor action.”

The imbroglio on the Metrobus X2 line prompted a “he said, she said” exchange of tweeted accusations and press releases between Metro leadership and the largest Metro union, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, regarding passenger and operator safety.

When the X2 drivers refused to drive Friday morning, Metro sought to portray points of agreement with the union, including how both sides were working to address safety concerns and assaults on bus operators. ATU Local 689 countered that union members haven’t met with Metro leadership to discuss safety in more than a year, and that current methods to protect operators weren’t working.

Here’s part of Metro’s statement, followed by ATU Local 689’s tweeted response:

“We should note that, working with the Union, Metro has taken several steps to address the issue of bus operator safety. For example, Metro Transit Police now have nearly 40 Transit Police officers specifically assigned to Metrobus. These officers are embedded with our bus operators at Shepherd Parkway and Northern bus divisions with the goal of sharing information with operators about where problems are being encountered. Additionally, more than a third of Metrobuses have now been equipped with protective shields and all new buses will arrive from the factory with a safety shield already installed. In addition, every Metrobus has been equipped with digital cameras that are always recording, as well as communication equipment that allows the operator to call for help with the push of a button.”

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