After violence on ATA buses, peacemakers step in

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Friday marked the first day peacekeepers started riding Kansas City Area Transportation Authority buses. FOX 4 rode along to see how their first day went and to get reaction from riders.

A 76-year-old woman FOX 4 spoke to said that she was scared and she rides the bus along Prospect Avenue every day. Just days after two passengers attacked a bus driver and someone fired shots at a city bus, this woman said she’s frightened, even though peacekeepers are now tagging along.

“These people are crazy. They don’t have no respect for you or nobody else,” the woman said.

A daycare worker and mother of a 1-year-old, Brittany Key, also said recent violence on the buses has made for an uncomfortable ride.

“It’s a shame and it’s scary because who wants to be on a bus and things break out and happen?” Key said.

The people who ride to work, to the grocery store, had a lot to say about the peacekeepers, who want to stop the violence on the buses.

“I think it’s a good idea to have people sitting on here protecting us,” rider Mia Rainey said.

Initially, the peacekeepers are riding on buses in the city’s high-crime areas. Many of which are in councilman Jermaine Reed’s third district.

“We appreciate what they’re doing. It takes all of us stepping up to the plate and having a say of what happens in our city,” Reed said.

The peacekeepers said their first ride-alongs were peaceful, except when a passenger got angry at a driver for taking his break and then pushed a shopping cart into the side of the driver’s bus.

“The peacekeeper was able to go over, talk to the gentleman and de-escalate the situation and the gentleman actually removed the cart away from the bus and apologized.” Bishop Tony Caldwell with Community United said.

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