Transit workers assaulted on the job

She's been threatened with rape. He's got mild to moderate brain damage. And yet another one of them can't shake the beating that left him lying on the floor. They are all transit drivers in different Canadian cities. And they are facing a seemingly increasingly aggressive group of passengers who often don't play fair or pay the fare. With a 21-year old rider now waiting to be sentenced for his assault on a Vancouver bus driver, we're asking about the intersection of angry customers and sitting targets at the bus stop near you.

Part One of The Current


It's Thursday, December 1st.

China says Canada is setting a bad example by refusing to deny rumours that we plan to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol.

Currently, China says it will set fire to three dozen, mercury-filled car tires every hour until Canada reconsiders.

This is The Current.

Transit workers assaulted on the job - Panel

Many people dread the morning commute on public transit. But a few of them take that dread -- even their rage --- out on the driver. Many transit workers say the abuse they get from passengers is escalating. We aired a clip with what one Vancouver driver and passenger had to say on the matter.

Vancouver-Burnaby bus driver Charles Dixon was the victim of a terrifying attack that changed his life. In February, he was sucker-punched so hard in the face by a passenger, he says he was left with mild to moderate brain damage.

And that wasn't the end of the incident. Mr. Dixon's son was riding the bus at the time of the assault and pursued the attacker. He was beaten up as well. Father and son testified earlier this week at a sentencing hearing for the 21-year-old man who pleaded guilty to the attack. That man will be sentenced later this month in BC Provincial court. Charles Dixon joined us from his home in Langley.

Attacks on bus drivers are a work place reality for many public transit operators across the country. Shawn Gilchrist is a bus driver with the Toronto Transit Commission - or TTC. He joined us in our Toronto studio. And Ingrid Mackay is a bus driver in Saskatoon. That's where she was this morning.

We'd like to hear about your experiences with transit operators. Or if you are a transit operator, we want to hear about your experiences with passengers. The good, the bad - and the questionable. Here's where to reach us.

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