Don Duncan, BC Transit driver for 23 years, sits in the driver seat of one of the new buses fitted with an interior door to shield the driver. (Lauren Boothby/VICTORIA NEWS)

Don Duncan, BC Transit driver for 23 years, sits in the driver seat of one of the new buses fitted with an interior door to shield the driver. (Lauren Boothby/VICTORIA NEWS)

New safety doors aim to protect transit drivers

These new full-length doors will be tested in Victoria, Kelowna and Abbotsford

BC Transit buses in three communities, including Victoria, are getting enhanced safety measures to better protect its drivers.

Due to recent workplace dangers that include drivers getting beaten up, stabbed with a syringe, and spat on, the company is launching a full driver door to enhance its safety measures.

“BC Transit’s top priority is to deliver a safe, effective and efficient transit system,” said Manuel Achadinha, BC Transit president and chief executive officer. “Introducing the full driver door will build on our commitment to improving the on-board welfare, security and comfort of passengers and drivers alike.”

Read More: Bus driver attacks often sparked by fares

The new doors will be rolled out in five buses operating in Victoria, Abbotsford and Kelowna at a cost of approximately $6,000 each. BC Transit says this will improve safety and limit distractions for drivers, while still allowing interaction with passengers.

“The safety and well-being of BC Transit’s hardworking drivers is essential to getting people where they need to go,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Combined with the recently introduced CCTV cameras, BC Transit buses are on track to being safer than ever for drivers and passengers alike.”

Following an analysis of this proof of concept, BC Transit will create a plan to install full driver doors on medium-duty and heavy-duty buses across the province.

– with files from Lauren Boothby