T bus driver suspended for decking passenger who spit at her

Boston Metro reports on an incident involving a Route1 driver and an unruly passenger on Mass. Ave. near Washington Street on Saturday.

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Good for them

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While I don't condone violence like this, especially stopping the bus and getting off to do this... but still good for the T driver! I'm tired of seeing the T drivers get the brunt of frustration from passengers...

Drivers take a lot of crap from passengers daily, and really they are not suppose to retaliate. But after 10 years (in the case of this driver) of dealing with unruly passengers, I'd snap at some point too. (this is part of the reason why I declined a job driving a bus for the T). I totally get why they did that.

And seriously, spitting? ugh... people are animals sometimes. When is the T going to start to consider guards for the drivers? this keeps happening.

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It is disgusting.

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Drivers are just trying to do their job and most are friendly.

I like in South Boston how the life long residents say "Thank you" to the bus driver when they get off.

I started doing the same thing.

- The Original SoBo Yuppie

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Same here

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You don't need to be a a life long South Boston resident to do that. I do that.. every time. T drivers are a thankless job.. so I try to be nice as possible.

I thought saying "thank you" to a bus driver was a southern thing. Everyone down there says thank you to the drivers. But then I poll'd a few bus drivers I know up here.. and they do say many do thank you when getting off the bus. One driver who drives the articulated buses, says people do it from the back back door!

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One driver who drives the

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One driver who drives the articulated buses, says people do it from the back back door!

I've done that on the 39 before.

I often thank bus drivers (and green line operators) when getting off, but not every time - if the driver is one of those who has their friend standing up front gossiping with them the entire time, or is a bad driver, or is rude to passengers, or doesn't lower the bus to help someone get on, I'll just get off. But there are also drivers who do things like wait for you if you're running for a stop, or even stop at a random place to pick someone up, or go out of their way to help an elderly/disabled/etc. passenger. Those drivers always get a thank you! from me whether it's at the front door, or called out from the back.

I grew up in the south though, and the very, very few people who actually rode the buses (I'd say 70% of the time I passed one it was either empty or had at most a handful of people) certainly didn't thank the driver. I don't think I ever heard a single person do that until I moved here, and I remember the first time I was surprised, assuming the driver had done them a favor or something.

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Me too

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I often thank bus drivers (and green line operators) when getting off, but not every time

I do the same. I don't consider it a regional thing - it's a manners thing. I was taught to say please and thank you - to everyone, my parents and family included.

As a side note, I even continue it with my husband. Sometimes I'll wait for him to follow up with the 'please' when he's asked (or tried to tell) me to do something.

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Same! I worked retail for a

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Same! I worked retail for a few years, and ever since that's been a habit I've never been able to shake.

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"in South Boston"?

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It's more common than not on the 57 to/from Brighton.

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Yes.

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I didn't say it didn't happen in other neighborhoods.

I ride the bus in SoBo so I thought I'd share my experience.

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Hmmm

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I said I rode the bus in SoBo. Didn't say I lived there...maybe I do...maybe I don't.

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That's the practice in

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That's the practice in Chicago as well, saying thank you as you exit the bus. I'm sure not everyone does it, but it was common on the lines that I rode. There's a sad lack of civility when people are so arrogant that they think it's appropriate to spit at a person. Disgusting.

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Lived in Chicago....

from September 1974 through the last day of 1989. ;~}

Sadly, there seems to be a lot more gun violence in Chicago now than wyhen we lived there.

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Thank You

I always say thank you to a bus driver. I think that's just what you do. Why? That person navigated the streets, and got me to my destination safely, all while I was reading a book or daydreaming.

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More people would thank them

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More people would thank them if they actually stopped to pick people up.

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T operators & drivers are great

I'm a recent transplant from the Bay Area and most of the bus drivers are rude as all get out. Have a question? Too bad, no matter how politely you ask. I've heard them laugh as they pull away just as someone's running up to try to catch the bus. I was pleasantly shocked at how professional the T drivers and operators are here. No doubt it's a hard job, between crazy traffic and dealing with the public all day.

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Especially

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The lady with the huge scarf who drives a 39 bus. Always friendly and cheerful.

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Interestingly

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I'm a recent transplant from Boston to the Bay Area, and I was stunned at how rude, provincial, angry, and insular people are out here.

I've taken more verbal abuse from customers in the year I worked here than I did in the 4 years I worked in Boston or the 5 I worked in New York. And yet people still say, "We're friendly Californians and you East Coasters are so awful!"

I have a countdown until I get to leave. I hate it.

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I think every transit agency

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I think every transit agency has its bad apples though. I've seen plenty of T employees behave like you describe, and plenty who don't.

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Neither do I.

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Frankly, had it been me, I more than likely would've kicked the shit out of that disgusting passenger, if I'd been in the driver's place. Spitting at somebody is assault, plain and simple, and the passenger who spit at the bus driver definitely had it coming to her.

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Probably just as well you're not a bus driver, then

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The spitter may, indeed, have had it coming to him, but when you're in charge of a million-dollar vehicle and the lives of all its passengers, sometimes you have to resist the temptation to apply those fists of fury.

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Today's daily morals lesson

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Brought to you by French Toast Crunch. It's back and better than ever! Ask for it by name at your local grocer.

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It existed ...

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And then it went away for several years, but now it's back and French Toastier than ever!

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Not a case of self defense

Following someone off the bus and hitting them as they're leaving is not self defense.

(I don't blame the driver; it sounds like she was certainly provoked, but let's not muddy the waters here.)

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T drivers should not be

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T drivers should not be responsible for enforcing fare collection. The T police should have sole responsibility for this issue. If this were the T policy then a lot of confrontations between drivers and passengers would be avoided.

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OK

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Let's hear your suggestions on how they do that without stopping a bus every two feet when someone doesn't want to pay so they can call transit police. (T Police can take up to 20 minutes to come depending on where the bus is)

You'll very quickly realize this is just not realistic to have T Police do.

I'm not saying I don't agree with you but it is unrealistic and would cause significant delays. And then now you have drivers who just will flag people in to avoid the "I must call t police" action. They don't want to be off route nor delay the other passengers.

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On the spot payable fines are

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On the spot payable fines are illegal in the US. Each citation is subject to appeal and due process in a court.

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And ...

Your point?

There are several cities in the US that use this system - and there doesn't seem to be a problem.

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The only city I have lived in

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The only city I have lived in with proof of payment, San Francisco, had lots of problems with it. It was a joke, many people never paid, in 3 years I was never asked to show proof of payment. I know that town is more of disneyland with fog so its not a great test case, but still, it never seemed like it worked well.

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Since when must fare

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violations under a proof of payment system be immediately paid to the inspector or officer issuing the ticket?

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I believe that's fixable

On the spot payable fines are illegal in the US

I don't know if it's been subject to court review, but I believe that in some cities that use proof-of-payment, there is no fine involved, only a two-tiered fare structure: $2 if you pay in advance, and $50 if you don't. That takes it out of the realm of criminal prosecution, etc.

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Problem with that is what

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Problem with that is what does the bus driver do once they've arrested the unruly passenger? Cuff them to the farebox? Leave them on the side of the road? Add a holding cell in the back of every bus?

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It's Not Necessarily For Arrests

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The main purpose would be deterrence. If every bus driver was an officer of the law as well, there would probably be fewer instances of attack upon them. And, if attack does occur, then the bus driver defending him or herself would be a totally different situation.

And why not cuff the bastard to the farebox until another officer can be called to pick him up?

Suldog
http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

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Transit Police are busy

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Transit Police are busy driving around on the highways and surface roads, they cant be bothered to go into the stations, let alone buses. How Rude.

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Bus Driver Brutality

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Twice in one month bus drivers have beaten passengers, where are the protests? Is the General Manager going to support the union or the passengers? Are the transit police going to arrest the driver? If they arrest the driver the bus drivers union should demand police protection on the buses which they should have done a long time ago.

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This doesn't sound like a beating

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Not taking the driver's side here, but spitting on somebody is assault and battery, so sounds like she got the better of him in a fight, rather than just up and whaling him.

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Cite?

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Specifics or it didn't happen.

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Yes, 'Townies' or locals

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in especially the neighborhoods outside the heavily student and transient neighborhoods, often say thank you to drivers. I think in neighborhoods where there's more sense of community this is more common, less so in the large swaths of Boston (and Cambridge, ect.) which have large transient populations such as college students, or IMO, in areas which are considered upper middle class or yuppified. I had various jobs involving customer service and close interaction with the general public while going through school, and my observations are upper middle class ($ well off) people tend to be the most cold and unfriendly, are least likely to engage in simple pleasantries, while those in more 'middle class' neighborhoods are much more likely to be polite and pleasant, but 'poor' people, so-called working class, are generally the most down to Earth and polite. There also appear to be some major cultural attitude differences in our multicultural society. Some cultures are much more prone to rudeness or what is perceived as arrogance by many native born and raised Americans. We live in a very complex world and our country and society is very fragmented in a multitude of ways.

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Riiiight

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I think in neighborhoods where there's more sense of community this is more common, less so in the large swaths of Boston (and Cambridge, ect.) which have large transient populations such as college students, or IMO, in areas which are considered upper middle class or yuppified.

I think you probably don't ride the bus enough to have any data to support this. If you ride, you ride your daily route; you don't ride all over town.

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I rode the #1 regularly....

... for a month recently -- and didn't notice very many other people (besides myself) who did greetings and/or thanks. Just one "foreign" bus, however, not a valid sample.

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You're responding to my anom post

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Not true. I ride buses like the 36, 37, out of Forest Hills, the 51 between Cleveland Circle and F.H., the 86 (Cleveland Circle / Sullivan Sq), the 66, 57, #1, 69 (Cambridge St.), occasionally the silverline, ect., I've rode these buses at various hours of the day, days of the week and time of the year, including early AM, late night/early AM.

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So, what's your actual data

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So, what's your actual data set? How often do you ride all those lines? Because what you said sure sounded like a broad generalization that would need a LOT of data in order to give it any validity. So, do you have a lot of data? Or have you only ridden most of those lines once in a great while, rather than on a regular basis.

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His answer is perfectly adequate

He gave an opinion, based on personal experience, and then provided details of his experience. He didn't claim he did a rigorous sociological study.

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Are you for real? It's clear

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Are you for real? It's clear that it is anons opinion. He/she does not need to supply any more data to support his /her observations; as they are observations. Do you really care that much about what anon thinks?

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The act of spitting on

The act of spitting on someone is probably the utmost contemptible act of derogation one person can inflict on another.

It not only shows a person's lack of human understanding, compassion & basic human goodness but also lays bare to public scrutiny that person's deep seated hatred of oneself.

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I can think of worse things

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But this is a family website, so I'll keep them to myself.

That said, if someone spat on me, I would probably fling the block against them.

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He had it coming.

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And I sure understand why she did it. I probably would have applauded too had I witnessed the altercation.

That said, drivers really shouldn't be chasing after people and walloping them with chock-blocks.

I think a short suspension, followed by a probation period would be sufficient. And the police need to track the spitter down and throw the book at him!

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I have driven the bus on that line

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And you don't pick up the nicest of Bostonians on that route and I applaud the driver for what she did because nobody should have to be spit on period. I don't think it was a smart thing to do hitting him with the chick block but I totally understand where she's coming from. What that does is put other drivers at a greater risk. I think what she should of done was hold back that adrenaline because I'm sure it was on film and notify the control center and get this maggot of the bus and press charges and lock him up. I'm sure the judge would bar him from using the T and he probably had warrants on him and would be locked up for a long time to think about what he did and if he wants to do it again. Instead, the operator gets in trouble. Hopefully she will beat it.

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Pressing charges against him?

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That's a hell of a lot easier said than done, imho. I sympathize with the driver who creamed the guy who spat at her, because, as some posters have succinctly pointed out here, spitting at somebody (if it's unprovoked), is assault. Here's hoping the guy realizes that he spat at the wrong person and learns a lesson, if one gets the drift.

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