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Old 04-16-2007, 02:06 PM   #1
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Silver Line Incident

This caught my eye in the Globe's Starts & Stops Column

Testy driver orders rider off the bus

By Mac Daniel, Globe Staff | April 15, 2007

It was late at night last week and Bill of South Boston had just landed at Logan International Airport after a working vacation out West. He was loaded down with luggage and tired when he boarded an MBTA Silver Line bus for the quick trip to his home near Silver Line Way.

The driver was in a hurry to get through the Ted Williams Tunnel, driving, Bill estimates, at least 60 miles per hour. And when he exited the tunnel in South Boston, he took a left instead of a right, headed away from the Silver Line's tunnel entrance and Bill's stop.

"By the time we were on Melcher, I figured out he was going straight to South Station," Bill wrote. "I called out, 'Hey, aren't you going to Silver Line Way?' "

That's when the driver got testy, Bill said. He slammed the brakes and opened the doors.

"He immediately pulled over and screamed ' Get the [expletive] out ' repeatedly," Bill wrote. "I protested , and he started to swear about passengers, the T -- and told me to get out again."

Bill said the driver had stopped the bus in the middle of Summer Street. The only other passenger put his head down and stayed mum, Bill said.

So Bill gathered his two pieces of luggage and his carry-on and walked a mile back to Silver Line Way at 1 a.m. in 30-degree temperatures.

"He actually had the nerve to then say that if I stayed and rode to South Station there were plenty of cabs," Bill wrote. "I wanted nothing to do with him and left."

Bill called MBTA customer service the next morning, requesting a letter of apology and his fare refunded. "The lady took notes and was very nice but said it would be several days before anyone would get back to me."

Bill then wrote to Starts & Stops, and our jaw dropped.

MBTA officials would not identify the 50-year-old bus driver. But they said he had been hired as a part-time bus operator in July 2003 and promoted to full-time in May 2005.

After an interview with his supervisor, he was disciplined for unprofessional conduct with what is called "5 and Final" -- a five-day suspension without pay and a warning that the next level of discipline, for any rules violation, will be termination. He was also required to undergo anger management counseling, MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said.

Bill followed up on Friday.

"My expectations of the T were already so low before this incident that I really don't expect anything more than a grudging willingness to answer pointed questions in a brusque manner," he wrote. "I am also in a service business. If we were this slow to respond to an egregious customer complaint, we could expect to lose the customer. Unfortunately, there's only one T."
Now, what exactly does a T Driver have to do to get fired?!
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Old 04-16-2007, 02:08 PM   #2
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This is inexcusable. However, had he stayed on the bus to South Station, he should have been able to get another one back to Silver Line Way, even at that late hour.
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Old 04-16-2007, 11:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ron Newman
This is inexcusable. However, had he stayed on the bus to South Station, he should have been able to get another one back to Silver Line Way, even at that late hour.
ron, you have got to be kidding me
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Old 04-17-2007, 10:18 AM   #4
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I never though it would happen, but I'm with Dude on this one. Seriously, you think the guy should have stayed on the bus? And then boarded another? I'd question the judgment of anyone who stayed on a bus with such a nutjob driver.

The fact that this guy wasn't fired immediately is the reason T employees act this way.
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Old 04-17-2007, 12:34 PM   #5
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"Service with a Scowl" -- it's the T way!

I miss (currently on "siesta") -- hope it's back up soon...I'm interested in their take on this...
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