More attacks against Vienna public transport staff

More than 60 public transport staff have been attacked by fare dodgers in Vienna so far this year, Wiener Linien has announced.The public transport agency said today (Tues) 61 employees assigned to control tickets have been injured since January. The company added that 72 staff were harmed by violent fare dodgers last year.Wiener Linien explained it planned to offer more violence-prevention courses to employees to reduce the number of attacks.The firm also said it will soon test a pilot project in which injured passengers will be transported to the nearest underground station which is easily accessible for paramedics.Wiener Linien said all other people on U-Bahn trains will be asked to exit before it brings the harmed person and an employee to a station which an ambulance can reach barrier-free.The public transport agency explained around 200 people fall sick on U-Bahn trains, adding that heart attacks and other casualties occur regularly.Public transport makes around 35 per cent of all traffic in the capital, while car traffic has a share of just 32 per cent.Around 480,000 people used the new 24-hour underground service on Friday and Saturday nights between 4 September and 4 October. The change of schedules was introduced after 54 per cent of the 277,000 residents participating in a referendum voted in favour of it in February.The 24-hour weekend U-Bahn operation is costing an overall 10.7 million Euros a year as Wiener Linien decided to continue offering a reduced “Nightline” bus service as well.