In light of the recent concerns regarding bus driver safety, it’s important to remember that abuse goes both ways.
In no way am I intending to trivialize the two incidents in Edmonton, but I’ve seen firsthand St. Albert bus drivers yelling, swearing and threatening clients. Once I even saw a driver spit on a patron as he left the bus at Westmount over a disagreement over fares.
I’ve just returned from an approximately 25-minute walk in -19.4 C weather thanks to a St Albert Transit employee. I was attempting to board the 202 at Village Station heading north to St. Albert Station, leaving Village at about 5:50 p.m. Two passengers boarded the bus while I was metres away. However, I was outside the door of the bus when the driver began to turn his wheel left. I understand that there is a policy with St. Albert Transit to not let on passengers once the bus has left the curb. However, this childish, selfish man had no right to be abusive and is an embarrassment to all of the kind St. Albert transit employees.
A pedestrian crossing to the Greyhound building waved at the driver to look in my direction. The driver, looking straight at me, took his hands of the wheel to gesture at me and began yelling, actually yelling so that I could hear him uncomfortably loudly outside of the closed bus doors. He was visibly enraged and screamed repeatedly, “No! No! Go away! No! Go away! No! No! Go away!” This verbal abuse lasted about 10 seconds, (more than enough time to open the door, but instead he drove away). The bus in question was also about a quarter full of passengers, who surely couldn’t have felt comfortable with his display either.
Catherine Mary Scheelar, St. Albert