Safety concerns onboard city buses continue

There have been at least two violent incidents on CATS buses this week, which has operators and passengers question how safe they are on the road.

CATS said an operator got into a fight with a passenger on Tuesday along East Boulevard.

Someone was stabbed onboard a CATS bus Wednesday in northeast Charlotte.

“It’s not good,” passenger Jennifer Hope told Channel 9′s Glenn Counts Thursday night at the transit center in Uptown. “It’s not a good feeling at all for (drivers) or for us. If they are getting hurt, I mean, what could happen to the passengers?”

Bus operators and passengers have given credit to CATS for making the transit center safer by switching security companies.

“It has gotten better,” passenger Breonya Hammond said. “I noticed that, and it’s not so many people here late at night when I get off work.”

Hammond is a mother of two young children and when she’s on the bus, she thinks about her safety.

“Especially, if you’re a mother with kids,” Hammond said. “That terrifies you. Some people don’t want to come downtown. I didn’t want to, but I had to get to work.”

Some operators have told Channel 9 that it’s still dangerous on the road.

“The lack of implemented safety measures isn’t only dangerous to the operators, but the riders as well,” said Nichel Dunlap-Thompson, a former operator who advocates for drivers, in a statement. “When will the company take accountability in keeping their operators and commuters safe? How many others will have to exchange their ride on CATS with a ride on the back of an ambulance?”

“It scares people,” Hammond said. “This is public transportation. This is how we get back and forth. If you don’t have a car or somebody to take you nowhere, you could be terrified to get on the bus knowing you could be the next person to get hurt.”

Counts reached out to the driver involved in Tuesday’s fight, but he could not catch up with him.

The police report said his injuries were minor, and the passenger walked away. So, it does not appear that anyone was seriously hurt.

Tuesday’s stabbing happened around 2:30 p.m. on Sugar Creek Road near North Tryon Street. Police released surveillance photos of who they believe is the suspect.

The victim went to the hospital with serious injuries.

VIDEO: 2 facing charges following fight on CATS bus in east Charlotte