Cops, cameras, and enclosures: A synthesis of the effectiveness of methods to provide enhanced security for bus operators

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - methods, planning - personal safety/crime, planning - safety/accidents, ridership - drivers, organisation - management, mode - bus


Bus drivers, Bus transit, Bus transit operations, Crimes aboard buses, Digital cameras, Passenger security, Police patrol, Protection, Safety management, Security, Surveillance, Video cameras


The safety of operators and passengers is a primary concern of transit systems and has become an increasingly important issue to transit bus operators themselves. Many transit agencies have experienced incidents of assaults against their bus operators that have resulted in serious injuries or deaths. These incidents can also expose passengers to assault and injury. Even when there are less serious consequences, assaults on operators can lower their morale, increase absenteeism, and strain labor-management relations over whether or not the agencies are doing enough to protect their employees. This project surveyed transit agencies that have employed one of these three techniques: a uniformed or plainclothes police officer or a security guard on the bus; a strategically placed digital camera inside the bus; and, an enclosure that separates the operator from the passengers, to determine their level of success, cost effectiveness, and acceptance by both bus operators and passengers. The report also identifies other techniques transit systems use to increase the chances of their bus operators avoiding dangerous situations, such as passenger relations training to avoid conflict. The effect "full wrap advertising" has on board activity and safety of passengers is also explored. The report presents the project in synthesis form.