Sunday, October 21, 2007


I was driving the 21 down Lake Street recently. I stopped at Lake and Blaisdell. There were 3 drunk people just waiting for me. How lucky am I? The guy is actually a regular rider that I recognized. He was the least drunk. Actually, even though he usually has been drinking, I've never really had a problem with him. He got on and paid his fare. Then the girl with him got on. She was staggering back and forth while trying to get her transfer into the slot. Eventually, she managed to do it. She was extremely drunk. Then the third person, a black female (the other two were American Indian), tried to get up the steps. She couldn't even manage the first step and then she realized she had no fare. I told her to have a good night and closed the door and left. The Indian lady went nuts. She started cussing and saying I left her there because she was black...not that it had anything to do with being fall-down drunk and not having a fare. "I guess if you're black, you're shit out of luck with this driver!" She claimed. I ignored being called a racist, though my blood was starting to boil. I tried to just continue driving but the "lady" yelled out something that had more cuss words than acceptable words in it. I got on the microphone and told her that language was not allowed on the bus, especially considering there were children on the bus. Within seconds, she let some more profanity fly. The people in the front just looked at me like "What are you gonna do?"

I said out loud "This isn't baseball, you don't get three strikes here." I called Control and told them the situation. Within a few blocks (at 5th avenue) the police car flew up behind me with the lights and sirens going. I pulled over and let the lone officer in the front door. By this time Ms. Nasty Mouth was silent and kind of dazed looking, staring blankly out the window. I pointed her out to the officer. He asked if the guy was with her. I said I thought he was, but that he was not a problem. I left both door open as the officer went back to confront the lady. The guy she was with got up and went out the back door. The officer stood and patiently told the lady she would have to get off the bus. She pretty much rolled her eyes at him and looked the other way. With more patience than I would have, the officer talked to her and told her again that she had to go. She refused and the officer started putting his leather gloves on. I knew what was coming next.

In one swift move, the officer grabbed the uncooperative drunk chick and picked her up by the front of her coat. That seemed to work. She started flailing her arms and yelling that he didn't have to F'en man-handle her. I just sat, watching in the mirror, thinking how she should have listened to him in the first place and just gotten off the bus. By now, she was trying to fight with him and he got her hand behind her back and got her to the back door. He basically used her nose to open the door and got her out of the bus. I wanted to stand and give him a round of applause but settled for closing the doors and continuing on my route.

The bus was silent. That is rare on the 21 line! I had a couple people thank me as they got off the bus. One lady said she wished more bus drivers would put their foot down like that so they'd feel safer and more comfortable on the bus. I agree with her. People can act like an ass in public if they want to, but once you are on the bus you need to show a little respect for those around turn showing respect for yourself.

Thanks again to the transit police for making the ride a better place for everyone. You all do a great job and a very much appreciated!!


Blogger Iris Blue said...

You have very interesting experiences.

7:32 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

That's why I LOVE my job!! No two days are the same. It keeps me interested. I've been driving the bus just over 7 years now and still think it's a great job. People are fun!

7:35 PM  

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