January 21, 2019 8:19 pm

Transit shields, new transit inspectors aim to make Winnipeg buses safer

New public transit security measures announced today stem from the February 2017 death of Winnipeg Transit driver Irvine Jubal Fraser.

File / Global News

The 2017 stabbing death of a Winnipeg bus driver has triggered a long list of changes aiming to make the city’s public transit safer.

That list includes safety shields for drivers, police on buses and specialized transit police.

READ MORE: Charges laid in attack on Winnipeg bus driver

The city is expected to pass the installation of safety shields on all 630 Winnipeg transit buses.

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The mayor’s executive policy committee will vote on the plan tomorrow.

READ MORE: Winnipeg Transit plans to install safety shields on all buses

The shields were originally recommended by Winnipeg transit in 2017.

The head of the city’s public works committee isn’t big on the idea of special transit cops.

“We’ve hired new inspectors. Those are people with eyes and ears on the ground who work with the Winnipeg police when situations arise, and our inspectors aren’t able to deal with them,” said Coun. Matt Allard, who represents St. Boniface.

READ MORE: Half of Toronto transit drivers don’t like or use safety shields, says union

“Winnipeg Transit currently has a $12.8-million operating surplus, and we would be shocked if the city did not use this surplus to install shields to protect their own employees in their workplaces,” said Aleem Chaudhary, head of the transit union, in a statement to Global News.

In addition to putting surveillance cameras inside buses, the city is also working on installing cameras on the side of all buses so drivers can see who is getting on and off the vehicles.

WATCH: Winnipeg Transit plans to install safety shields on all buses

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