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The ATU condemns the fatal shooting of MTA Mobility bus driver waiting for a bus to go to work

The 3rd transit worker murdered in Baltimore this year

Silver Spring, MD – In the wake of the tragic fatal shooting of an MTA Mobility bus driver waiting for a bus to go to work, the third murder of a transit worker in the past year, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) is demanding better protection for transit workers.

“I want to express our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of our fallen Local 1764 Brother Isaac Caldwell as of a result of a senseless act of violence while he was waiting for a bus to go to work to serve the public during this pandemic,” said ATU International President John Costa. “Our thoughts and prayers are with our brothers and sisters of Local 1764 as they deal with this terrible tragedy.”

Caldwell was employed by Thrifty Transportation, a subcontractor for First Transit, one of the private companies that runs MTA Mobility in Baltimore.

Unfortunately, this brutal killing is not an isolated incident. Last October, Baltimore bus driver and Local 1300-Baltimore, MD, member Marcus Parks was fatally shot on the job. Also, a member of the Teamsters and an MTA Mobility operator was shot and killed while on his bus in January 2021.

“This tragic death comes as our members have been heroes providing critical transportation on the frontlines of this pandemic,” Costa continued. “Transit workers cannot do their jobs, and passengers cannot travel on public transportation in fear of being attacked and assaulted.” 

Countless transit workers are assaulted in many ways every year.  With COVID-19, many attacks have been over enforcing rules mandating riders to wear masks. Others are the result of a fare dispute, but an alarming number happen just because someone wants to do violence to a bus driver.

“The ATU demands that transit agencies and government officials bring the same sense of regret that they will display in the mourning of this tragic, unnecessary death of our brother to improve protection for their workers and riders,” Costa continued.