Metro Transit investigating assault of bus driver in N. Minneapolis

- A Minneapolis bus driver was viciously beaten at a stop Tuesday, according to a Metro Transit spokesperson.

In a video posted to social media, a man gets on the bus and starts punching and kneeing the driver. The video does not show what led up to the incident.

"I don't know how anyone can look at this video and see what's on there and think of it as anything less than disgusting," Metro Transit Spokesperson Howie Padilla said. "It's a despicable attack on a bus driver whose whole livelihood is getting people to work, to school and home again. It was totally unprovoked."

It all started around 3:45 p.m. Tuesday when the route 5F bus was stopped at Emerson and 15th in North Minneapolis.

It's unclear what prompted the attack, though Metro Transit says it was unprovoked.

“It should have never happened,” Amalgamated Transit Union President Ryan Timlin said. “The bus is a community and we need to work together.”

Metro Transit Police and the Minneapolis Police Department are investigating the incident. 

The situation is just the latest instance of violence against transit employees that sparked a contract negotiation earlier this year with an emphasis on safety, with more than a dozen buses now outfitted with barriers between drivers and riders. The bus in question, however, did not have such a barrier.

"We've got hundreds and hundreds of buses, though we've got a pilot program of just 20 buses with those barriers," Padilla said. "We're getting feedback from our operators to find out what they like, what they don't like and to figure out if this is something that should expand.

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