CHICAGO (TOC) — CTA bus drivers and practice operators, and the union representing them, name for extra safety after a youngster was gunned down driving the bus.
“Proper now, no operator, no practice individual feels secure coming to work,” stated Keith Hill, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Native 241. “The assaults are up, the assaults are up, now we have a homicide on a bus.”
The calls for for motion comply with the Sunday afternoon homicide of a 17-year-old on the town’s West Facet. Police stated two males obtained on a bus at Chicago and Pulaski, then walked to the again and shot the teenager to loss of life. One other man was additionally wounded.
The attackers obtained off the bus and ran away.
Hill stated the 20 to 30 different passengers on the bus escaped hurt, and the driving force, who jumped by way of his window to security, is now traumatized.
And with different violent incidents in prior weeks, the union stated crime on the CTA is endangering the lives of riders and employees.
“It is not a CTA downside, it is a metropolis downside that is trickling onto the system,” Hill stated.
In response to Chicago Police Division crime knowledge, as of June 21 there have been 391 assaults, together with assaults, batteries and homicides, on CTA trains or buses, up 37% from this time final yr. That matches the pre-pandemic ranges of crime on public transit, which was virtually evenly break up with 56% assaults on trains and 44% assaults on buses.
A spokesperson for CTA stated the company has already deployed greater than 200 unarmed safety guards, put in safety cameras on buses and trains, and put up protecting obstacles round bus drivers. However operators need their very own police pressure.
“We wish a police presence. Open it as much as all municipality’s law enforcement officials,” Hill stated. “The Chicago police proper now have their arms full.”
Hill stated his union hopes to fulfill with Mayor Lightfoot Wednesday to debate the problem.
The union, CTA officers and Lightfoot launched an announcement Wednesday night, saying, “This night we met with the hardworking women and men who drive our metropolis buses daily and ensure the 1000’s of residents who depend on public transportation get to their vacation spot safely. Equally essential is that the hardworking women and men of the CTA, whether or not bus or rail, need to be secure of their office and we’re dedicated to persevering with to work collectively to make sure the security of our employees throughout our transit system. Collectively, we’re additionally evaluating our choices to create harder penalties for individuals who commit crimes in opposition to transit employees and in or in opposition to transit properties. We are going to proceed to take the steps needed to guard each transit staff and riders alike.”
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