Bus Operator Barrier Design

The installation of driver barriers in transit buses can help to reduce the risk of assault. Assaults against transit workers pose a serious threat on many levels by threatening the physical safety and emotional well-being of transit workers, endangering passengers, and lowering employee morale. The emotional effects of assault can deter transit employees from returning to work and passengers from using transit, impacting both schedule and revenue. TCRP Synthesis 93: Practices to Protect Bus Operators from Passenger Assault found that “the National Transit Database (NTD) does not capture the true extent of workplace violence” as the NTD "does not accommodate the reporting of minor assaults that do not result in an arrest. Although an assault such as spitting or verbal insults may not cause physical harm to the operator, it can cause significant emotional distress.” Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there are additional concerns for bus drivers including protection against direct exposure to the virus from passengers and overall air quality concerns. When addressing the potential for barriers to prevent assaults and improve air quality, other factors should be considered, including: operator comfort; vision impacts, including glare; Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant access; and emergency egress. Research is needed to provide guidance for efficient and effective actions to protect the health and safety of bus operators and the traveling public. The objective of this research is to give public transportation agencies practical guidance on designing, procuring, and installing bus operator barriers. The guidance should be based on evaluation criteria and performance measures of effective barrier types, taking into account: prevention of assaults, air quality/HVAC, operator comfort, vision impacts, including glare, ADA compliant access, and emergency egress. The guidance should apply to both retrofit of existing buses and procurement of new buses equipped with appropriate protection for drivers and passengers.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $350000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project C-25

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Parker, Stephan

  • Start Date: 20211012
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01741745
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project C-25
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Jun 1 2020 3:04PM