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Metrobus drivers are among the most abused of all local workers. In the words of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, “Riders have spat on, punched, slapped, and thrown bricks at bus operators.”

Assaults on the drivers, says the union, have more than doubled over the past five years, from 36 in 2002 to 84 last year.

Thank God for plexiglas. This week, Metrobus is rolling out shields for drivers on six buses. It’s an initiative that Local 689 has pushed on Metro management, and finally some progress is showing up right alongside the driver’s seat.

Municipalities across the country have long been aggressive about instituting special penalties for crimes against cops. I’m a bit skeptical of such laws; but if you’re going to do it for cops, why not bus drivers?