Priorities

Around 5:30 on Friday, November 1, I was on my home from a medical appointment. I got on the 20 near the Croatian Cultural Centre. The bus was a bit crowded. A woman got on near 12th or maybe 14th and was 25 cents short on her fare. The bus driver repeatedly told her that this was not okay, that she needed to pay her full fare next time, and that she was going to get charged the $173 fine if she got caught.

A stop or two later, before Broadway, as people were getting off, I was trying to move toward the rear of the bus. A man stood in my path and wouldn’t let me by. When I told him I was trying to move back, he became verbally aggressive, calling me names and threatening me. I moved back and sat down. He kept calling me names. I avoided eye contact. He continued. I looked at him and said “Please leave me alone.” I was afraid I would have to move past him to get off the bus. Had this been necessary, I would have just stayed on past my stop. Fortunately, he got off before I did, somewhere around 3rd Ave.

I don’t understand why Translink employees feel the need to hassle someone for not having the correct change, but feel no need to do anything about situations like this.

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One thought on “Priorities

  1. For safety reasons, theirs and the other passengers, the driver is not allowed to leave his/her seat on the bus. Most times, if there is an issue on the bus the driver has already pressed a button alerting TComm of the situation, if they are aware it is occurring. Moreover, if the driver does alert Transit Police, by the time they arrive, you or the aggressive person has left the bus. Also, when the driver does alert TCom it needs to go through a couple different channels before a transit police will reach the bus. In all cases, if you are feeling threatened in any way the prudent and most time efficient thing to do is call the police. It is not the bus driver’s responsibility to keep you safe with regards to altercations. They can and will alert the authorities, but they are not supposed to get involved for their safety as well. If you call the police, there is an immediate response. On average, one driver is assaulted every day on our buses, that is a really terrible statistic.They are trained to not escalate a situation not just for their safety, but the safety of the other passengers. Its a terrible thing also that you have been accosted and threatened but try not to be too hard on the drivers as they have protocol to follow and may have already assisted you by alerting security without you even knowing it.

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