WINNIPEG – Family, friends, and bus drivers gathered to say goodbye to a Winnipeg Transit driver brutally killed on the job.
The service for 58-year-old Irvine Jubal Fraser was held Tuesday at Calvary Temple.
He was stabbed at the University of Manitoba during the last stop of his shift in the early hours of Feb. 14 as he tried to get a lone passenger off the bus.
Brian Kyle Thomas, 22, has been charged with second-degree murder.
Winnipeg Transit drivers observed a moment of silence in honour of their slain colleague and those not at the service pulled over at safe locations and stopped their buses for one minute of silence.
The signs on the front of Winnipeg buses said “Rest in Peace #521″ — Fraser’s operator badge number.
Buses in Regina also showed support for Fraser by putting black ribbons on the driver’s side mirror.
“I think it’s more of a brotherhood and supporting that, again, we have a Canadian operator in service that was killed and again, just showing our support for that,” said Brad Bells, the City of Regina’s director of transit.
Meanwhile, officials with the City of Winnipeg and the transit union met Tuesday to discuss enhanced security measures for bus drivers.
Public Works chairman Marty Morantz asked for a study to outline what is done now to protect drivers in order to figure out what needs to change.
“We can select different areas that we need to put emphasis on to see if we can improve security within the transit system,” Morantz said.
Right now all buses are equipped with cameras and police do random spot checks. Some drivers want shields, most have said they just do not want to deal with fare collections that can lead to disputes.
Morantz said every option is on the table for discussion.
“If there is a way where drivers don’t have to have anything to do with fare collection than that would likely be the way to go,” he said.