MILL BASIN — A bus driver fatally stabbed while on the job in 2008 was honored outside the Flatbush Bus Depot Friday.
Local leaders and community members joined family and friends to celebrate the co-naming of “Edwin Thomas Way” at the corner of East 49th Street and Fillmore Avenue and unveiled a plaque at the depot commemorating the driver.
Edwin Thomas, 46, was killed by Horace Moore on Dec. 1, 2008, while operating a B46 bus in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Moore, then 20, stabbed Thomas in the chest and torso in front of passengers after trying to use an invalid MetroCard and demanding a transfer, according to reports. The attacker received a 20 years-to-life sentence in 2010.
On Friday, family members and fellow bus drivers said the street co-naming would continue Thomas’ legacy, one that reflected joy and hard work.
“We’re here to celebrate him and what he did for the city,” daughter Edley Thomas said through tears.
“This journey was the longest journey I’ve ever taken. It was the most horrific thing I’ve ever gone through in my life.
“But I’m proud that everybody came out and we’re able to finally have a sign here. I can drive a car, I could walk by and finally say, ‘Wow, we did it.’”
Union members released white and yellow balloons as Thomas’ family unveiled the new street sign. Marie Thomas shed tears upon seeing a bronze dedication plaque for her son outside the Flatbush Depot.
Thomas’ death prompted an increase in bus operator safety, according to MTA officials.
The 2008 incident re-launched the Bus Operator Action Committee, which helped spearhead the installation of 3,000 partitions on city buses to separate drivers from passengers.
“The unsung problem on the streets of New York City and the transit system is the ongoing assaults against bus drivers and the mistreatment of bus drivers,” said John Samuelsen, president of Transport Workers Union Local 100.
“We will come by and look at that sign for decades to come and people will know the story of Edwin Thomas, the great family man who gave the ultimate sacrifice…and let it forever put folks on notice that bus operators do incredibly dangerous work without the level of respect they should get.”
A display will also be installed in mid-June at Gates Avenue and Malcolm X Boulevard in Bed-Stuy, near the site of Thomas’ murder.