Transit worker assaults by the numbers:
Here are the updated numbers: (as publicly reported)
The numbers: As stated in the general public
• 2010 – 34
• 2011 – 26
• 2012 – 19
• 2013 – Nothing said publicly but more than 11 at the time of the assault in North Portland.
• 2014 – 28
• 2015 – 41
• 2016 – 55
2017 – 6 as of February 15
In 2016 the company formed a joint labor/management committee on operator assaults. The committee only accomplishments that the company had implemented is three partitions (not on in-service buses) displays on buses. At the time of the committee forming the assault, the rate was at 19, and we ended the year with 55 total. So far, a total of 42 attacks (since forming the committee) with no substantive changes to reasonably protect the transit worker in this system.
In 2013 the company made a statement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsBYKYaviJc
If folks want to single out fares then here are stats to go with that assertion:
In 2012 the company decided to increase fares by 40 cents (for a regular ticket for an adult 17 yrs. and over). Before the increase in fares, there was a total of 79 assaults (that got publicly reported) from 2010 to 2012. The trend from 2010 to 2012 had shown a decrease in reported crimes before the increase happened.
Since there were no accurate numbers for 2013, we only had 11 publicly reported at the time of the incident in Saint Johns. Which was already 58% up from the year prior, but since we do not have the numbers other than that, we cannot make an assumption on the total number.
So if we take the number from 2010-2012 a three-year span, that’s 79 total publicly reported. If we then take the years 2014-present (excluding 2013), we have a total number of 101, post fare hike. That’s a whopping 79% increase in aggression towards front line workers who have nothing to do with the increase in the fares.
The company blamed the union contract and workers as the reason for the fare increases, which was simply not true. The company was instead taking a 3% raise in pay during this time, out of a slush fund called “contingency” worth $20 million; they were sticking it to the general public, and scapegoating the union as the villain.
While the union has never given any rebuttals to this assertion on increases in fares, there is a reason for the general public specifically the “transit dependent” to have aggressive behavior towards the frontline worker over fares. Their aggression would be better served to point their collective fingers at those who made the increases possible while enjoying the tax-payer money in raises in income.
BE VIGILANT, BE SAFE AND ALWAYS COMMUNICATE
Last night we had another incident out there on the road, where we had a physical / intimidation with contact on an operator unfortunately this type of stuff keeps happening so that would be #5 this month alone. And it ain't even spring yet.
One of the crimes that we have failed to really recognize is the crime of "menacing."
OREGON MENACING LAW
ORS 163.190 Menacing. (1) A person commits the crime of menacing if by word or conduct the person intentionally attempts to place another person in fear of imminent serious physical injury. (2) Menacing is a Class A misdemeanor.
Be vigilant, be safe always communicate.