TAMPA, Fla. -- HART officials quickly responded to an incident at one of their metro rapid bus stops after hearing reports of a stabbing on or near one of their buses.
It happened just after 2 p.m. at the intersection of Floribraska Avenue (21st Avenue) and North Nebraska Avenue.
Once the Tampa Police Department arrived and investigated, they concluded a man had stabbed himself with his cane during a domestic dispute.
They said he was the aggressor but made his way over to the bus stop, flagged down the bus and asked the driver to call for help.
The bus driver pressed his emergency button which called dispatch. That call was then quickly routed to TPD.
Within 5 to 10 minutes, Collin Mulloy, the Safety and Security supervisor at HART was on scene and spoke with TPD offers and the bus driver to document what happened.
HART made a promise in May, shortly after one of their bus operators was stabbed in the neck by a passenger, that a supervisor would respond to incidents like this right away to document them.
They were also required to look at all of its buses to make sure the emergency buttons worked.
In the next few months, glass enclosures will be installed in all of their buses to better protect drivers.
Back in June 1, HART expanded their security guard presence on the platforms at the Marion Transit Center near Downtown Tampa. There was a decision to upgrade security from level one to level five, meaning there will be armed guards with police or military experience.
Some of those guards will make random security checks on board the Metro Rapid lines. Following feedback, there will also be on-board high-definition cameras with audio scope expanded on HART vans, buses and the TECO Line Streetcar. The HD camera technology provides audio and real-time on-board viewing from HART control center.
“The cameras can pick up audio, even very faint audio and so we will be able to see and hear all activities that happen on our system," said Ben Limmer, HART's CEO.
HART has also made a decision made to place customer awareness monitors on board buses, similar to the ones you see at retailers such as Walmart, Target an convenience stores. Those will provide customers an on-board view of themselves.