It’s a Council bus driver’s duty to transport commuters across Brisbane safely.
Being spat on, punched and yelled at is not in their job description.
Despite this, drivers are still being subject to daily abuse.
The latest figures released by Brisbane City Council to the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) show there were 197 assaults between April and July this year, that’s between one and two per day on average.
The majority were verbal assaults, but on eight occasions drivers were either spat on or physically attacked.
The figures for the same time last year show 230 assaults, a reduction of 33.
The difference this year however is patronage; when COVID-19 hit passenger numbers dropped by 85% and have slowly been rebuilding.
Also, passengers are now only allowed to enter and exit the bus from the rear door.
Council’s Opposition Leader Jared Cassidy said it’s concerning that even with such low patronage numbers assaults have hardly fallen.
“Month on month we keep seeing figures of 40, 50 and 60 assaults,” Cr Cassidy said.
“Some drivers are even being spat on which is particularly concerning during a pandemic,”
“Nobody could get close to assaulting the Lord Mayor in his City Hall office, yet his own employees are being spat on, punched and sworn at every day.”
The ongoing assaults have reignited calls from the RTBU for better driver protection.