Saturday, July 13, 2024

Tasmania to trial transit officers on buses

The Tasmanian Government has announced a pilot of the use of transit officers on public transport services to better protect bus drivers and public transport passengers from aggressive and offensive behaviour.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael Ferguson said the safety of the Tasmanian community was paramount.

“Although the vast of majority of trips on our buses are incident-free, we are all sick and tired of the thuggery that has been occurring on and around buses,” said Mr Ferguson.

“Our bus drivers and passengers deserve better, and we will progress an increased and visible presence of transit officers on buses who can respond to incidents when they occur, deter would-be offenders and fare evasion, direct passengers to leave if necessary, and issue infringement notices.”

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael Ferguson.

The Minister confirmed that the transit officers will be equipped with body-worn cameras.

“We will also work with Tasmania Police and State Growth to investigate a new mechanism for easy reporting, allowing commuters to report non-urgent incidents of antisocial behaviour,” he said.

“This gives passengers the ability to take action in a safe way if they experience or witness antisocial behaviour on and around public transport, while giving us a greater understanding of “hot spots” to assist in targeting resources.

“These actions to target antisocial behaviour on public transport will bring comfort to our drivers and the majority of our passengers who enjoy using public transport.”

The initiatives will initially be trialled in the south, and come after two meetings of the Safe Public Transport Working Group convened by the Minister.

The measures will be subject to further development including an operating model and detailed implementation plan, Mr Ferguson said.

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