Metrobus Emergency Switches Raise Safety Concerns

Juveniles have disabled Metrobuses with a feature intended for use by emergency crews, sources confirmed to News4.

Metro says locks can’t be installed on the battery disconnect switch panels because emergency crews need easy access, but the union representing first-responders in the district says it supports equipping the panels with locks firefighters could pry open in case of an emergency.

In two recent incidents, juveniles disabled buses at crime scenes, leaving the drivers and passengers stranded without radio communication.

One of those incidents was Friday night when a man on a bus was grazed by a bullet on Elvans Road SE, sources said. That shooting prompted to Metro to establish a temporary detour buses around that area at night. The detour has been lifted and Metro Transit Police presence has been increased in the area.

Officials are reviewing options like locks or somehow camouflaging the switches to make them less noticeable, Metro said. They are also looking at what other transit agencies do.

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