3 bus drivers attacked in 1 week in New York City

July 5, 2013 3:21:44 PM PDT
It's been a bad week for New York City bus drivers.

Three bus drivers have been attacked since Monday.

One of the attacks happened on Manhattan's Lower East Side, the other two happened in the Bronx.

"How are you doing?"Eyewitness News investigative reporter Jim Hoffer asked the bus driver.

"I was stabbed in the hand. I'm at the doctor's," the bus driver said.

The bus driver in the latest attack agreed to talk to Eyewitness News by phone about what happened.

"Then there was somebody behind me, then when I turn around he stabbed me with some type of instrument and then cut me in my hand, and then he ran off," the driver said.

The night before, another Bronx bus driver was slashed with a razor. His bus had a security barrier that may have saved his life and a bus camera captured the blade-wielding woman now being hunted by the NYPD. And on Monday, a driver was punched and robbed in Manhattan.

"I have bus operators calling me saying they are scared for their lives," said Frank Austin, of the Transport Workers Union.

The MTA has spent millions on cameras and security barriers to protect drivers.

"Do you think it provides some security?" Hoffer asked.

"Definitely does provide some security between me and the passengers," a bus driver said.

Yet, Eyewitness News has learned that out of 5,800 buses only 1,300 have protective barriers, and 1,200 buses have cameras. That's fewer than 20% since the 2008 stabbing death of bus driver Edwin Thomas.

"Five years and you have just told me the numbers less than 20%. That's unacceptable. Shouldn't be a cost issue on a life," Austin said.

Meanwhile, the driver attacked Thursday night said it wasn't the first time: a passenger once spit in his face and threatened to shoot him.

"You're always afraid because you never know what's going to happen, always afraid, it's always in the back of your mind," the driver said.


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