ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (FOX 13) - Pinellas County is moving fast to add extra protection between bus drivers and riders with plans to install new barriers.
Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) officials decided Friday to install tempered glass barriers just a few weeks after Hillsborough Area Regional Transit bus driver Thomas Dunn was stabbed to death in a random attack on May 18.
“That's a good thing they're doing, putting some protection. So, if anything happens, they'll be safe,” said bus rider John Williams.
HART passengers said they like what Pinellas is doing and want Hillsborough County drivers to have the same protection.
“The bus driver needs to feel safe on his job. He need to feel safe going to work,” said bus rider Alicia Britt.
On June 1, HART implemented some upgrades to security, like enhanced cameras and video monitoring screens, and more armed guards at drop-off and pick-up points.
Barriers for drivers are next on the list, but a decision has yet to be made by HART.
Five months before his death, Dunn voiced safety concerns. Fast forward to last Monday’s board meeting, bus drivers showed up sharing their own experiences once again.
A HART spokesperson said they are working with the bus drivers’ union to come up with the right barrier, and they hope to announce more details later this week.
While HART still works out its plan for barriers, Pinellas County transit officials announced they will begin installing them in August and should be finished in October.