JTA Adds Shields To Protect Drivers Inside 187 Buses

Nov 14, 2019

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority has completed installing 187 protective barriers inside its fixed-route buses.

The barriers give bus operators a layer of security between them and riders. 

“We now have a shield that, when closed, protects their blindside from any potential attack,” said JTA Vice President of Transit Operations and Chief Transit Officer Lisa Darnall in an email to WJCT News.

The retractable shield covers the bus driver’s right side and can be locked in place in a matter of seconds, according to JTA.

The final barrier in the $600,000 project was installed by JTA’s mechanics Thursday morning.   

The barriers are the latest in a series of JTA security investments. 

A protective barrier is unpacked before being installed on a JTA bus.
Credit Jacksonville Transportation Authority

Other recent investments include:

  • An overhaul of closed-circuit television systems at JTA facilities
  • The addition of a new safety officer and dedicated safety analyst
  • Upgrades to the bus fleet’s on-board video and audio recording capabilities that allow supervisors to monitor situations in real time

“The safety and security of our customers and our employees is our top priority at the JTA,” said JTA CEO Nathaniel P. Ford Sr.

JTA also has certified safety officers that are stationed at transit facilities, along with local law enforcement.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.