DETROIT – The Detroit Department of Transportation and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 26 came to a memorandum of understanding Sunday.
Initially, bus drivers walked out, claiming their safety is at risk and they want more protections.
The agreement seeks to resolve a number of concerns regarding the safety of bus drivers.
“We want to apologize to the men and women out there, our public,” said Amalgamated Transit Union Local 26 president Glenn Tolbert. “We look forward to serving you again and we will be there.”
DDOT said the safety and security of its drivers is a top priority and will work to protect drivers from violence and coronavirus.
The department will provide mandatory customer service and de-escalation training. The training aims to address the driver’s response when customers exhibit abhorrent or threatening behavior. Training begins Nov. 1.
Drivers are allowed to defend themselves against threats of violence to the extent of the law and they will not be subject to discipline for doing so. Drivers are required to contact dispatch immediately to report an incident.
DDOT said it will decrease the response time and increase visibility of law enforcement on buses.
Barriers will be installed to prevent customers from getting withing 12 feet of the driver’s seat, except to the extent necessary for ADA compliance. The barriers will be temporary until a permanent barrier door is installed.
Buses will now include masks for customers who do not have their own face masks upon entering the bus.
DDOT confirmed bus service will begin Monday at 3:30 a.m. and urges residents to remember the following:
- All persons on DDOT coaches are required to wear face coverings, completely covering their nose and mouth for the entire time on the coach, unless excused for purposes of ADA compliance.
- With the exception of ADA front-door boarding, all passengers will enter and exit the coach through the rear door.
- All passengers should remain in the designated area, and no person shall approach the Coach Operator while on the bus or cross the barrier at any time while on the coach.
- All instances of threats or violence will be thoroughly investigated, and DDOT will seek prosecution for these acts, to the fullest extent of the law.
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