When Diane Rude accepted a position as a Minneapolis bus driver, she thought she was signing up for a good, middle-class job that would allow her to take care of her family and save for retirement. She never expected to have to fight for her life.
But that’s what happened when a troubled passenger wrapped a scarf around Diane’s neck while she was driving, threatened to kill her, and held her and her passengers hostage for six terrifying minutes.
What is most shocking about Diane’s story isn’t the post-traumatic stress she suffers, or that she chose to keep her job as a bus driver after such a disturbing event. It’s that she is just one of many.
Hundreds of transit operators are assaulted every week in this country. Drivers have been spat upon, punched, stabbed, shot and made to suffer other indignities while on the job. Injuries run the gamut from black eyes, bruises, and broken bones to more serious and life-altering outcomes. Verbal abuse and threats of physical violence have also become an all-too-common reality for transit workers. The unnecessary risk to workers and the fear and physiological stress that is placed on transit employees for simply reporting to work should be unacceptable to policy makers and management alike.
Read more on the Huffington Post.