After years of union/management negotiation, TTC surface vehicle Operators are finally getting protection from being assaulted. Several hundred buses have already been retrofitted with retractable plastic shields that will prevent ATU members from being attacked or spit on. Streetcars and the remaining bus fleet should be all equipped by sometime in 2010.At the union’s insistence, Operators will have the option of whether or not to use the shield, depending on their judgement of the situation. Assaults against TTC Operators have been growing in recent years and a spontaneous incident that shut down the TTC for a half-day in May 2006 was triggered in part by union members’ frustration at TTC inaction on the issue. CITY-TV recently reported on the shields’ installation. Reporter Francis D’Souza interviewed a female streetcar Operator who has been assaulted several times.