The number of assaults on the people who drive your city bus went up by 50 per cent last year.
The Amalgamated Transit Union says there were 60 confirmed assaults on Winnipeg Transit drivers in 2015.
The assaults ranged from spitting, to kicking and punching, to throwing things at drivers, to threatening them with a weapons.
President John Callaghan says the most serious incident was someone stood in front of a bus and pointed what looking like a gun at the front windshield.
“This new (driver) actually did an awesome job. He was very calm about it. He said ‘everybody get down, he’s got a gun’, and he actually jumped in front of a woman and got them all down on the floor,” he said.
Callaghan says the person eventually walked away and no arrests were ever made.
The union has long been calling for plain clothed police officers on buses. It was piloted once last year, but Callaghan wants it to be permanent.
“The next best thing to having a police officer on every bus is the thought that there might be because every person sitting next to you might be a police officer,” he said.
Callaghan says he doesn’t know why there was such a large increase in assaults last year. He says two-thirds of all assaults stem from a dispute over bus fares.