Public transport staff uninformed about bomb scares

A Freedom Party (FPÖ) official has criticised Wiener Linien for failing to evacuate many of its employees after bomb threats.FPÖ Vienna vice chairman Johann Gudenus said today (Thurs) it was “not acceptable” that the Viennese public transport agency evacuates passengers swiftly but does not inform its own staff in the case of a bomb scare at a station.Several bomb threats have been registered by the company in the past few months, but police did not find explosives in any of the incidents.Gudenus, who heads the FP֒s delegation in the city parliament, claimed Wiener Linien did a good job in evacuating passengers after a recent bomb scare at Reumannplatz station in Favoriten district, while employees engaged in the underground station’s workshop were not briefed.The right-winger said: “Such decision-making is not acceptable. I don’t dare to think of what could have happened had there been a bomb.”Gudenus added these occurrences would add to Wiener Linien’s negative reputation as a firm with worsening working conditions for employees and too many technical errors and service breakdowns.The opposition politician called on Greens Vice Mayor Maria Vassilakou and Social Democratic (SPÖ) Councillor Renate Brauner to ensure staff are evacuated as well every time the city’s public transport provider receives a bomb threat.The Viennese government supervises and subsidises Wiener Linien. The company runs five underground lines as well as a network of buses and trams. It also started offering a 24-hour U-Bahn underground train service on weekends last September.Wiener Linien recently said it registered 61 incidents in which staff were injured by fare dodgers in the first nine months of 2010. The firm stressed that 72 employees were physically attacked by people without a valid ticket in 2009.The public transport agency recorded more passengers than ever before last year with 838.7 million. It added that this number also meant a 3.3 per cent year on year increase.