Addressing the Problem of Assault on MTA Buses

Below are a recap of statistics culled from the MTA's Department of System Safety reports to the NYS Department of Labor.

These reports only include statistics from the NYCT and MaBSTOA Depots; they do not include statistics from the depots of MTA Bus Company.

Anonymized raw data are available upon request.



In December 2008, Bus Operator Edwin Thomas was murdered while working on the B46 line.

He was killed in a dispute over a transfer.

He was the first NYCT bus operator murdered on duty in 27 years.




The incident led Local 100 and the MTA to raise vigilance around the threat of assaults. Greater reporting of incidents, protective barriers, and other measures were discussed and implemented.

Safety partitions

photo from http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bus-drivers-hail-barriers-set-foil-violent-riders-article-1.1532476

Onboard security cameras

photo from http://www.mta.info/news/2012/03/27/safety-first-mta-adding-more-onboard-bus-video-surveillance-cameras

Better reporting of assaults as work-related injuries.


Where Are We Today on the Assault Problem?

From January 2009 through November 2015, there were 1,196 individual assaults reported through the NYS Department of Labor's Form SH-900.1 Equivalent. 

Number of Assaults Reported by Year


From 2009-2014, there was a yearly average of 173 reports of assault against TA/OA bus operators.

In the average month, there are 14 assaults on TA/OA bus drivers.




Where is the Problem Concentrated?

Assaults are disproportionately concentrated in just three depots: West Farms, Kingsbridge, and East New York. These depots primarily serve routes in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

Assaults on Bus Operators since 2009, % by Bus Depot


Concentration of SH 900.1 recorded assaults (larger bubbles, more incidents)


System Safety data classifies assaults by the Agent used and Injury Type.

  • "Infectious & parasitic agents" includes saliva. 
  • "Human" is a catch-all for unarmed attacks.
Number of Assaults recorded on DOSH900 datacards grouped by Agent


Number of Assaults recorded on DOSH900 datacards grouped by Injury



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