Reports of assaults on bus drivers steady
- By LEVI PULKKINEN AND CASEY MCNERTHNEY, Seattle Post Intelligencer
According to a Seattle P-I analysis of Metro reports, roughly 150 assaults against drivers are reported annually, having struck a high in 2006 of 189 reported attacks.
The worst is route No. 7, a run that connects downtown Seattle with Rainier Valley. The run sees 10 times the number of driver assaults as the service-wide average.
'There are more people with problems -- mental health and alcoholism -- that are riding the bus,' said Linda Averill, a 16-year Metro driver who lives near the route line and drove the No. 7 off and on in the past two years. 'The city is dropping the ball on health services.
'The bus driver becomes the proverbial bartender, and we're put in the position of being social worker. It's ridiculous, and it affects the whole delivery of our service.'