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Winnipeg ATU Calls for Bus Safety After Passengers Disarm Man With Axe

March 13, 2017 
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel

Winnipeg, Canada - Less than three weeks after a city bus driver was murdered, passengers on another Winnipeg bus disarmed a man who was carrying an axe and brass knuckles.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1505 President John Callahan told the Canadian Press that the Mar. 3 incident shows drivers need safety measures now. The city announced a study, due in May, after driver Irvine Jubal Smith was stabbed to death Feb. 14, but Dave Wardrop, its chief transportation officer, said that it doesn't have the staff to make significant changes sooner, such as putting in shields to protect drivers. “There's things that we can do in the interim that can be addressed a lot more quickly,” Callahan said. In the Mar. 3 incident, a 22-year-old man who was wearing brass knuckles and carrying an axe was arrested after passengers and the driver took his weapons and escorted him off the bus. The city has added mobile inspectors at night, Callahan noted. He’s also suggested creating specialized transit police. Read more

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