TTC workers face four times more post-traumatic stress than Toronto police officers, according to provincial data.

The data, which was obtained by the Toronto Star through the Freedom of Information Act, shows nearly 200 of bus, streetcar and subway operators are inflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of being physically and verbally abused by passengers and witnessing suicides.

The condition is usually associated with people who have survived warfare, sexual assault or natural disasters.

In the past five years, 181 drivers reported suffering from the disorder, missing an average 44 days of work.

Some of the reported cases of abuse included broken bones, bruises from being punched, being spit on, and being threatened with a gun or knife.

They reported being overcome with anxiety, depression and even neurosis.

Bob Kinnear, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113, said he suspects the number of people affected is actually much higher.

He said workers don't always report the incident because they are worried it might reflect poorly on their ability to do their job. He also said TTC management tends to give workers a hard time, which discourages people from coming forward.

"There is a real negative perception about the support we get from the TTC," he told "The first question (the TTC) asks is what could you have done to prevent this from happening? You have to trust the people you hire to do the job."

"The report is a reflection of only the most serious incidences," he continued. "We believe the number is much higher."

TTC Chair Adam Giambrone said a series of recommendations were made in 2004 and many of them have been implemented.

Transferable metropasses have been implemented to reduce the amount of fare disputes between toll collectors and passengers. Security cameras are being installed on buses and in subways by 2009. Additional TTC special constables are being hired and protective shields for drivers are also being debated.

"Obviously these problems are not new to us," Giambrone said. "We need to take this seriously and prosecute aggressively."

He said he gets a phone call about every three to four days with a report of an assault on a TTC worker.

"Before, we used to look for drivers who had good driving skills," he said. "Now, we have a very different focus. We look for people who have good customer service skills."