Fla.’s Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) unveiled the first of its bus fleet to now include driver safety shields. The agency collaborated with ATU Local 1593 and manufacturer AROW Global to select and approve the best option to cover operator space. Each shield is equipped with an interior latch, which operators can slide-lock while in their seat compartment.
During an event, a HART bus operator, CEO Ben Limmer, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister, and ATU representatives took the inaugural ride.
"HART employees, whether behind the wheel or behind a desk, should have an expectation of going home to their loved ones," said Benjamin Limmer, HART CEO. "The safety and security of our employees and customers is always our number one priority. The installation of the on-board safety shields reflects that commitment."
HART's maintenance team, in coordination with AROW Global, is custom fitting each bus and van which includes moving the fare box and other on-board equipment. The new safety-shields will be rolled out to the public on a regular schedule over the next few weeks.
HART also launched the second phase of the “Ride with Respect” Campaign. Unveiling new on-board messages that reinforce security rules and riding etiquette. In partnership with ATU Local 1593, the agency is reminding the public that is against the law the threaten or assault Transit Operators.
In August, HART launched the new rider awareness campaign, “Ride with Respect” to promote a positive on-board experience for both operators and customers.