Sunday, March 22, 2009


I was driving the 21 route into downtown St. Paul. There were two teenage girls in the back talking a little loudly to each other. The bus was pretty full and everyone seemed to be talking, so I couldn't tell, but suspected the girls were cussing. As I got into downtown and the crowd thinned, my suspicions rang true. I heard them using the F word like it was one of the few words in their vocabulary. I got on the microphone and announced that profanity was not allowed on the bus. One girl said it didn't matter, they were getting off soon anyway. As I pulled out of the bus stop, the F bomb went flying again. There was no one behind me, so I immediately pulled back into the bus stop and told them to get out. They seemed surprised. I told them I had JUST told them not to cuss on the bus and I opened both doors and sat. When they realized I wasn't going anywhere, the potty-mouthed girl told her friend she'd meet her at the bus stop. The other girl said "I'll wait for you." The bad girl got off the bus.I proceeded to the bus stop in the next block. The other girl looked anxious as I passed the bus she wanted that was sitting at the bus stop with his flashers on. The 21 has a designated stop on the far side of the intersection. I pulled in slowly, secretly hoping she'd miss her bus. There has to be some kind of punishment!

I sat there as she ran for her bus, which had just pulled away from the curb. She ran two blocks and caught the bus. I laughed to myself as I thought of her "friend" that would be looking for her at the last bus stop. What a great friend. I guess "I'll wait for you" only means if you get there before the bus leaves! What a wonderful friendship.


Blogger WebShadow said...

That's a good one! I've never been on a bus, but it almost sounds like fun. (yes, you heard me right, I've never been on a bus)

My problem would likely be the slip of the tongue and dropping an f-bomb on the bus. Or forgetting my wallet. Both things I do often enough. Yesterday I sat on my glasses.

My worst problem is, in this case, my memory. I forget things.

6:21 PM  
Blogger John Charles Wilson said...

As an advocate for free speech, I find this disturbing. Fortunately, most Twin Cities bus drivers aren't so strict about profanity unless you're disturbing people. Beware, though: Duluth is much worse with a zero tolerance rule for profanity on buses and all drivers there enforce it strictly.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Disturbing? Free speech doesn't give you the right to be an asshole. The idea behind free speech is that ideas would not be censored. If profanity is your idea of free speech, you likely don't have any ideas worth hearing anyway. The bus driver was doing the right thing, enforcing the rules so all on the bus could enjoy a ride without being subjected to profanity.

As my mother used to say, "Profanity is for those not smart enough to use the proper words."

I am all for free speech, but it would be nice if those who exercised their right to free speech had something worth saying.

4:38 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

Web - You're missing out! If you are a people-watcher type...the bus can be a ball! Maybe that's why I like my job so much. People are interesting to me. No two are the same. You should just go ride one once for the experience. The 5 and the 16 have the most action, I'd say. Good luck...enjoy!

John - Thanks for your comment, but I totally disagree. See my comment below.

Anon - Thanks for answering John for me...I couldn't have said it better. I don't feel people have the right to use language that is "bleeped" off the TV in front of other peoples kids, the elderly, or anyone that just doesn't want to hear that ignorance! That isn't what freedom of speech means. That's just common sense...and respect for yourself and others. Profanity is not allowed on the bus.

5:40 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

I know I'm late with this artice, but I just became aware of this website and it is great to hear the stories that I have also dealt with, as I am also a transit operator. Keep up the good stories and continue keeping it real.

3:11 PM  

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