Metro is installing shields on some of its buses to protect drivers, reports Brittany Morehouse from News 9. And given these stats from Metro, the news comes as no surprise:

According to a Feb. 14 press release, the number of assaults on drivers rose from 36 in 2002 to 84 in 2007. The majority—56—were in D.C., 21 were in Maryland and seven occurred in Virginia. Drivers have been spit on, attacked with bricks, sticks, poles, guns and knives. Riders have even attempted to undress an operator.

“Five public transit buses will have plastic protective shields installed around the driver’s seat area. The new vehicles will be tested over the next six months to see if they help deter assaults,” according to the News 9 story.

Update: Okay, so I just realized Erik Wemple previously reported much of this news. For another dose of why protection is necessary, check out his post.