Today’s news:

MTA moves to keep bus operators safe

MTA Chairman Jay Walder said he was “horrified” at a recent attack on a bus driver and said the MTA was in the process of installing equipment to protect drivers.

Walder, speaking after the monthly Metropolitan Transportation Authority board meeting June 29, said five buses had been equipped with plastic shields and that the agency’s goal is to install 464 buses with the new equipment by year’s end.

“I was horrified to hear of the attack on a driver,” Walder said of the June 21 incident. “I’d like us to do everything we can to ensure the safety of our drivers,” Walder said.

Police said Marlene Bien-Aime, 48, told Steangeli Medina, 17, she could not board the Bx9 bus on Fordham Road unless her dog, which she said was in the teen’s jacket pocket, was in a crate.

Bien-Aime said the teenager had the dog, which she said might have been a Chihuahua, in a jacket pocket.

Bien-Aime said Medina then punched her in the face and dragged her by the hair off the bus and onto the street, where she was kicked and beaten.

Medina was charged with felony assault, menacing and harassment by the Bronx district attorney.

Bien-Aime was treated at St. Barnabas Hospital for a black eye, facial cuts and chest injuries.

MTA policy permits small, domesticated animals on board buses, but in kennels or other suitable containers which may be accommodated by the passenger without annoyance to other passengers.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at or phone at 718-260-4536.

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