Auckland Transport (AT) and Mayor Phil Goff are shocked at the spate of attacks against essential workers, including the weekend’s assault on a bus driver.
This lockdown has seen 16 reported incidents involving abuse or aggression towards Auckland’s train, bus, ferry and security staff.
“It is appalling that someone should be attacked while doing their job as an essential worker,” Mayor Goff says.
“They are working under pressure during Alert Level 4 to keep public transport operating and support those who need to undertake essential travel.
“They deserve our respect and appreciation for the vital role they play within our community.
“They certainly should not be subjected to physical violence and I ask everyone to contact the police if they witness any such behaviour in their community.”
AT’s Chief Executive Shane Ellison says the increasing number of attacks against essential transport workers is a disgrace.
“We have staff working day and night to keep public transport operating and it’s distressing when they come under attack from members of the public.”
“It’s a disgrace. Our bus drivers and other essential workers are showing enormous courage supporting Aucklanders. It’s just unacceptable that anyone should be attacked while at work at any time - let alone now.
“We are grateful that Police attended so swiftly after the weekend’s attack against the bus driver. Our thoughts go out to the driver, who we understand is receiving support from his employer (NZ Bus).”
Auckland Transport is working with its transport officers and the Police to stamp out abusive behaviour that drivers and other transport staff are subjected to.
Mr Ellison says the recent rise in attacks shouldn’t deter anyone from using public transport.
“Safety is always paramount on the network. Not only do we have transport officers, but there is CCTV on all public transport in Auckland and, if the police request it, we will share images of offenders with them.”