Driver

Kelowna bus driver Peter Lansing was assaulted while operating a transit bus in March. In April, he spoke about the experience at an event in Rutland to honor workers killed or hurt on the job.

Bus drivers in the Central Okanagan will work behind doors beginning in 2020.

BC Transit announced Monday its fleet of buses will be equipped with full driver doors to better protect operators.

New buses will come with the doors by late this year. Next year, retrofitting begins for the 650 buses in BC Transit's province-wide fleet.

"While we continue to work on detailed implementation planning, we have determined the retrofitting process will begin in Victoria then move onto Kelowna," says a release from BC Transit.

Safety is its top priority, BC Transit says, and other measures to protect drivers include on-board cameras, enhanced communication systems, partnerships with first responders, and driver training to diffuse troublesome situations.

The Kelowna Regional Transit system has 110 full-time drivers. One of them, Peter Lansing, was assaulted by a passenger on March 22.

He was repeatedly kicked in the head and knocked unconscious. He lost control of the bus, which was carrying about 20 passengers, and the vehicle struck a wall. No one other than Lansing was injured.

"I honestly feel I had a very lucky day. Because I could have been killed," Lansing said on April 28 at an event in Rutland to honour people who've been injured or killed while at work.