Violent crime on board Cleveland buses increasing for passengers, drivers

Three serious assaults in 3 weeks

CLEVELAND - Violent crime on board Cleveland buses is increasing for both passengers and drivers according to crime statistics obtained in an exclusive 5 On Your Side investigation.

According to data obtained from the Greater Cleveland Rapid Transit Agency, there have been 12 assaults and robberies so far this year against drivers compared with 11 for all of 2013.

William Nix, President of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 268, says he is "very disgusted" with the increase and says "enough is enough."

The union is calling on tougher state laws that would boost penalties for crimes against drivers.

Meanwhile, 96 passengers have been assaulted so far this compared with 105 for all of last year.

Passenger robberies appear to be trending slightly lower than last year, with 93 reported so far this year compared with 255 last year.

In just the last three weeks, there have been three violent assaults including:

  • Bus driver robbed at gunpoint
  • Bus driver assaulted by passenger
  • Passenger plunging a knife into another

The Greater Cleveland Rapid Transit Agency spends $12.5 million dollars a year on transit police and believes that, with 200,000 riders every day, the system is safe.

GCRTA spokesperson Jerry Masek says the agency will be adding more security cameras onboard buses as well as adding more plain clothed police to provide additional security.