Bus drivers in West Vancouver say they are the latest to experience violence on the public transit system.
A statement from the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 134 reports a “violent, bloody” fight Wednesday aboard a West Vancouver Blue Bus, a subcontracted system that is part of TransLink, Metro Vancouver’s regional transportation authority.
The statement says one rider was harassing passengers and attacked another passenger who tried to intervene.
Police were called and the union says the suspect was subdued and arrested on the bus.
Four other violent attacks have been reported within the Metro Vancouver transit system over the past several weeks, including a man whose throat was slashed and Tuesday’s fatal stabbing of 17-year-old Ethan Bespflug.
Officials with Local 134 say the attack is another strong warning that better safety measures are needed on the Blue Bus system.
“Even in West Vancouver our drivers and passengers need more safety measures to try and reduce the chance of violence on our buses or at bus loops and stations,” Cornel Neagu, president of Local 134, said in the statement.
He also wants to see more action from the provincial and federal governments to address the growing mental health and addictions crisis.
“Our drivers see a continually escalating problem with riders who have serious drug, alcohol and mental health problems and who depend on our buses for transportation,” said Neagu.