Bus driver suspended after confrontation
Published Friday, November 30, 2012 6:34AM CST
Last Updated Friday, November 30, 2012 9:02PM CST
A Saskatoon Transit driver has been suspended with pay, pending an investigation into a profanity-filled confrontation with a pedestrian.
A video of the incident posted to the video-sharing site YouTube on Thursday shows the unidentified driver arguing with a man standing in front of a bus in the bus mall on the University of Saskatchewan campus.
The video does not show what led up to the confrontation, but in the video the driver appears upset that the pedestrian was blocking the bus. Another video posted to YouTube shows the pedestrian following the bus, which appears at one point to be trying to drive around him.
When the man refuses to move the driver can be heard saying: “Does someone want to drag this (expletive) away from my bus?”
Transit manager Bob Howe told reporters on Friday morning that the investigation is in its early stages.
"The foul language was disturbing to see," said Howe. But he cautioned that the video only shows a small part of the incident, which he believes lasted between five and six minutes.
Howe added drivers do have training to deal wtih difficult situations.
"There are challenging situations that occur out there, and we have training programs we go through," said Howe, who drove a bus himself for many years. "In situations like that we emphasize the professional conduct of the operator...do not inflame the situation any further."
However, Howe says overall, Saskatoon Transit has a good record. He says last year the transit service made 12.5 million trips, and had 900 complaints.
"That just speaks volumes to the wonderul service the operators provide," he said.
There is no indication how long the operator will remain suspended.
In the video, two bystanders confront the man and physically move him away from the front of the bus, which then pulls away from the terminal.
As of Friday morning the video, entitled “Guy Stands In Front of Bus and Refuses to Leave” had attracted more than 10,000 views on YouTube.