Our Work

Public Transit

From streetcar operators in Toronto, to bus drivers in San Diego, ATU represents the men and women who help move the United States and Canada. Millions of riders depend on public transit to get to work, to medical appointments, and to the grocery store every single day. Our members are the bus drivers, rail operators, mechanics, station attendants and other support personnel who make safe, efficient, and affordable public transportation possible.

The ATU stands up for the health and safety of workers in the public transportation sector. One of the most serious problems workers in the industry—particularly bus drivers and station clerks—face is physical assaults by riders. Aside from the terrible risk to operators’ lives and safety, assaults on transit operators also endanger passengers and motorists who share the roadways.

In the United States, the ATU has been pushing for passage of the Transit Worker and Pedestrian Protection Act. This legislation would provide more protection by requiring transit agencies to create risk reduction plans, install physical barriers to protect drivers, and retrofit or replace buses with left-side blind spots. Also, it would require transit agencies to report on a wider range of incidents.

Meanwhile, ATU Canada in conjunction with ATU International helped pass Parliament Bill C637—also called Bregg’s Law in honor of Tom Bregg, an ATU member who suffered severe injuries from an assault. The ATU bill amends the criminal code, making assault on a transit operator an “aggravating circumstance” subject to stricter sentencing guidelines.

Other health & safety concerns include bathroom breaks, heart disease (stress) and musculo-skeletal problems caused by repetitive motion.

The ATU continues to stand up for the fair treatment of transit industry workers, their health and safety, and their right to a decent living. Some of our priorities include:

  1. Secure increased flexibility of Federal funds for operating assistance; and
  2. Promote public transit as a “green” transportation alternative; and
  3. Defend and strengthen middle class jobs
  4. Address health and safety issues through legislation, regulation and collective bargaining.


Online Resources:

    •  Transit Funding Crisis
    •  ATU’s Stranded Voices
    •  Advocate's Guide for Expanding & Improving Transit
    •  DOT Drug and Alcohol Regulations
    •  What Employees Need To Know About DOT Alcohol & Drug Testing
    •  Prevention of Alcohol Misuse and Prohibited Drug Use in Transit Operations