Bus Shield Could be First of Many

A single protective driver shield was installed into a Kelowna transit bus back in January as the first step towards finding ways to better protect the City's transit drivers.

This test run will determine how effective the shields can be at protecting drivers from physical assaults from pedestrians, which has become somewhat of a problem in the Okanagan in recent years.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1722 President Scott Lovell says this is something that should have been installed into every bus a long time ago.

"We wanted to see these shields in place three years ago, so the sooner the better," says Lovell. "However, with that said, we're thrilled that this process is happening."

Some aspects of the design may have to be tweaked before mass production, such as increasing protection at the rear and top of the driver's area.

The demand for the protective shields comes from an alarming number of attacks on bus drivers, specifically four incidents that took place over the course of a single day back in May of 2016.