Kansas City ATA Confronts Driver Shortage As Bus Attacks Spike

A point of fact . . .

Kansas City buses have become increasingly dangerous since a decision to eliminate fares.

A consequence of this decision has been lower ridership and increased difficulty finding drivers.

Here's one part of this story . . .

In Kansas City, job safety remains a pressing issue. Nationwide data shows that assaults on operators increased fourfold from 2009 to 2020, according to TransitCenter. Verbal abuse and other aggressive encounters among bus operators and passengers are all too common.

Kansas City’s affordable housing shortage contributes to the friction. Many unhoused people board buses for shelter, and it is often left up to the drivers to instruct them to leave.

Although driver safety was not a talking point in the contract renegotiation, UNION LEADERS would like to see the KCATA have its own transit security system for the buses.

Read more via www.TonysKansasCity.com link . . .

KCATA tackled its driver shortage. Now, bus drivers want to see more change

Since the pandemic, driving a bus has become increasingly stressful, Howard said. Drivers are expected to maintain order, deal with short tempers and eject passengers who seek to use the vehicles as shelter..