According to the Houston Chronicle, Houston Metro officials yesterday announced a public awareness campaign to make riders aware of the Transit Authority’s code of conduct for riders. This follows a 73 percent increase in assaults on operators in 2015 compared to 2014. So far this year, Metro has reported 52 assaults, ranging from angry riders spitting on bus drivers to punching, head-butting and cursing them. One man, in the video below, even violently confronts a bus driver while carrying a baby in a front pack on his chest.
Officials can’t identify a single factor that is prompting the increased assaults. Some have been related to paying fares while others involved loud music or cell phone use. There is also a mental health issue in the Houston community according to officials that could be contributing to the violence.
As a preventative measure, drivers are receiving training on how to avoid escalating tense situations.