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NJ TRANSIT Looks To Shield Bus Drivers

NJ TRANSIT Bus (file/credit: Evan Bindelglass/CBSNewYork)

NJ TRANSIT Bus (file/credit: Evan Bindelglass/CBSNewYork)

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – New Jersey Transit plans to add plastic safety shields to protect drivers from violence on its fleet of 2,170 buses.

Retrofitting each bus with the shields will cost about $2,220. NJ Transit’s board is set to vote on spending up to $1.82 million to outfit 820 buses on Monday.

NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder tells The Record newspaper the agency has already installed safety shields in 70 buses under a pilot program.

The protective barrier encloses about 75 percent of the driver’s compartment, but doesn’t interfere with passenger communication and fare transactions.

Snyder said assaults against drivers have dropped from 60 incidents in 2010 to roughly 25 so far this year.

A bus driver in Newark was stabbed seven times last year.

Across the Hudson, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority currently has 670 buses equipped with the shields and plans to add them to its entire fleet.

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