BC Transit says that drivers and staff try to issue rider bans for as short a time as possible.
This statement comes less than a week after the most recent assault on a BC Transit bus in Victoria, which sent the driver to hospital.
It also comes just months after BC Transit announced that all of its buses will have Plexiglas barriers installed over the next three years to protect the fleet’s drivers.
“A lot of people rely on transit for their main mode of transportation,” said Jonathon Dyck, communications manager for BC Transit. “So, if we have to impose a ban we want to try to make it as short as possible.”
Dyck said that in incidents involving behaviour problems, such as intoxication, drivers and staff will try to correct the behaviour by setting up a meeting with the person to discuss a proper course of conduct on bus riding.
“If the agreement is unsuccessful or not agreed to by both parties, a time-limited ban can be imposed through BC Transit’s conduct and safety regulations,” Dyck said. “We have to put safety of our drivers, staff, and customers first.”
If an incident becomes more serious, however, the police will need to be involved.
“For instances of criminal offences including violence against staff, it is up to the police and the courts to seek a ban and no contact orders,” Dyck said. “We work with the police to ensure they have support to obtain a no-go transit order or other convictions as appropriate.”
Keeping track of temporarily banned commuters is a difficult task, with over 88 transit systems in 130 communities across the province.
Dyck was confident, however, that drivers become familiar with problematic people, and that communication channels installed on buses ensure that a supervisor is just a call away.
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