Protecting Our Transit Workers

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the Transport Workers Union Local 100, the Amalgamated Transit Union Locals 726 and 1056, District Attorneys, law enforcement officials and legislators participated in the First National Transit Workers Assault Conference, an event to address the growing number of assaults against transit workers and to build public awareness of the issue of transit worker security. The conference was a joint effort of the MTA, TWU and ATU.

Photo taken at First National Transit Workers Assault Conference

"Our front-line workers keep our transportation system running, but they are all too often confronted with violent situations," MTA Chairman & CEO Joseph J. Lhota said. "We want to do everything possible to let people know that assaulting a transit worker has severe ramifications, and we want those cases prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

New York City Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast said: "This is the beginning of a process and a dialogue to increase awareness, raise sensitivities and continue the collaborative work to develop a comprehensive database that tracks employee assault incidents, ensure that all incidents are reported and that enforcement and prosecuting factions work with the legislators to revise penal law to be used to more effectively change behavior. We will hold smaller meetings in future to make certain that we all maintain a sharp focus on this issue."

Last November, Chairman Lhota and Transport Workers Union Local 100 President John Samuelsen co-signed a letter to the City's five District Attorneys urging more aggressive prosecution of those who assault transit workers to insure that offenders are punished for their acts, while also deterring similar crimes.

Assaults against transit workers have risen over the past several years, despite passage of legislation in Albany that raised such acts from misdemeanors to "D" level felonies. In response, the MTA, TWU and ATU are working on transit worker security initiatives such as bus cameras and bus operator safety shields, with many already deployed and more on the way.