November 24, 2014
For Immediate Release:
UNION SEEKS PUBLIC ASSISTANCE AND MORE SAFETY FOR OPERATORS
IRWINDALE, CA: On the night of Nov 17, 2014 an LA Metro Employee and a member of the SMART Transportation Division was brutally assaulted while operating a bus in the West San Fernando Valley. Today LA Metro and the LA County Sheriff’s Department will hold a press conference at 1 Gateway Plaza to ask for the public’s assistance in finding the individuals involved in the in this senseless attack. The General Committee of Adjustment 875 (GCA 875) of the SMART Transportation Division (SMART TD) would also like to add our voice to this request for public assistance as well as from our Union Brothers and Sisters. It is suspected that these individuals are frequent riders of the public transportation system and will re-board a Metro vehicle in the near future. If you see any of these individuals, who will be revealed at the press conference, please don’t hesitate to report it to the authorities. These criminals must be found, they must be arrested and they must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Also at the conference, Metro will be unveiling a few new programs to assist in the prevention of operator assaults. One item will be a pilot program to install a two part barrier system to provide separation between the operator and the public. This is an option that the union has been seeking for over 15 years. SMART TD fully supports any initiative that promotes and furthers the safety and security of our members.
Earlier this month the Federal Transit Agency (FTA) sent a letter to LA Metro informing them of new oversight rules and regulations for local transit agencies in regards to public and operator safety. SMART TD will be seeking inclusion in these pilot programs with the FTA to increase operator safety. These programs will bring best practices as well as federal dollars to tackle the issue of operator safety.
In the past operator safety has not been granted the appropriate level of attention that it deserves. It is the hope of SMART Transportation Division GCA 875 that new leadership at the LA County Sheriff’s Department as well as on the LACMTA Board will bring about new ideas and a sense of urgency to very serious problem.
The General Committee of Adjustment 875 (GCA 875) of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, Transportation Union (SMART) represents the over 5000 Motor Coach and Light Rail Operators of the Los Angeles County Municipal Transit Agency (LACMTA) otherwise known as LA Metro.