EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Transit System started to install shields as an added security measure for bus drivers on its entire fleet on Monday.

The retractable shields will first be installed on 159 air-conditioned buses, with another approximately 1,000 buses to follow.

The installation is expected to be completed in fall 2020, the City of Edmonton said.

The project is part city council's $20-million investment to improve transit safety.

“It’s very important we provide a safe working environment for all of our operators,” said ETS Branch Manager Eddie Robar. “Operators spend many hours behind the wheel and we need to help ensure they all return home safely at the end of their shift.”

In September 2018, the Amalgamated Transit Union asked the city to step up ETS security after a number of assaults.

A year later, a report presented to council showed the safety initiatives are working.