BROOKLYN - A Brooklyn bus driver says he was attacked this morning following an argument with a passenger.

The incident allegedly took place at the intersection of Smith and 9th streets aboard a B57 bus. Investigators say a male passenger got into a confrontation with the driver and then assaulted him.

Other passengers on the bus came to the driver's aid before his alleged attacker had a chance to use a screwdriver he was holding. The victim was not seriously hurt, and the suspect fled the scene, police say.

In the aftermath of the incident, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority released a statement saying that in an effort to prevent such incidents from happening in the future, bus operator shields will be installed in more than 400 buses in the beginning of next year.

In 2010, there were 62 attacks on bus drivers. So far this year, there have been 74.

An assault on any transit worker is a felony charge that carries a sentence of up to seven years in prison.