SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) --Another vicious attack on a San Francisco Muni operator has been reported just as the transit agency is preparing to roll out an anti-violence campaign.
The latest attack happened Tuesday afternoon at Van Ness Avenue and Bush Street to a driver of the 47 Line. Officials said he was hit on the head by a skateboard. Earlier this month, a bus operator reported she was beaten by a motorist.
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But the number seems to be on the rise. The transportation agency says there were 58 reported attacks on its operators last year, compared to 24 in 2014.
In one incident in September of that year, a man was taken into custody accused of throwing rocks through a bus window, injuring the operator. A driver told ABC7 News he consistently deals with threatening and unruly passengers. "Everyday, pretty much everyday, just have to be patient when dealing with the public," Muni operator Roman Ancheta said.
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Next month the transit agency plans to replace ads on their buses, with their own campaign designed to humanize their operators with some posts saying: "My mom gets you home safely. Please let her get home safely too."
"What were trying to get across is people should treat our transit employees with respect," SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose said.
Rose says there are also ideas floating around the county about barriers to separate the operators from customers, but that hasn't been discussed in San Francisco. Andrew Fong drives the 38 Rapid and says he's been threatened a couple of times. "It's a stressful job, but there's more good passengers than bad," Muni operator Andrew Fong said.
For the bad ones, if they're caught, they could face up to five years for assault.