Sunday April 20, 2014





Bus driver suspended after confrontation

Being investigated for not following disembarking protocols

A screenshot from a video (taken sideways) shows a bus driver.

A Kamloops bus driver has been suspended with pay after an odd confrontation with passengers made it onto YouTube on Tuesday.

The video, entitled Kamloops BC Transit Driver Kidnaps Passengers, shows two passengers, one male and one female, yelling at a bus driver to let them out.

Meribeth Burton, corporate spokesperson for B.C. Transit, did not identify the driver other than that he's been with the company for nine years.

She said he's being investigated for allegations that he didn't follow disembarking protocols.

"Management here at B.C. Transit has watched the YouTube video and we're very concerned with what we see and hear," said Burton.

"There is a high degree of professionalism that we expect at all times," she said, regardless of the challenging situations they might encounter each day.

The video, posted by TrueLiesCanada, captures the incident after the confrontation had already begun. It records a female passenger yelling at the driver for missing her bus stop.

"This is public transit, all I want to do is be able to get off at my stop!" she says.

The man in the video can be heard saying: "Let me off the bus buddy. I have to get to work."

The bus driver replies: "There's no need to be like this."

Sounds of pounding against the bus door accompany the passengers complaining that the driver missed their stops and is now "intentionally holding us up."

The man repeats that he wants to get off the bus and the driver replies: "You just need to calm down a little."

When the female passenger continues to complain about missing her stop and being trapped in the bus, the driver replies: "It's just a misunderstanding."

Eventually the door is opened. The man steps out, informs the driver the conversation has been recorded and adds: "We'll be seeing you in court, my friend."

It's unclear when the incident occurred or what route they were on.

A message written by the person who posted the video states the driver failed to stop at two locations and when confronted, said the female passenger was angry at him for missing her stop a few weeks prior.

The driver then parked the bus at the Thompson Rivers University exchange, locked the doors and refused to let the passengers out, according to the text with the video.

It also said the bus driver approached the female passenger and photographed her, leading the male passenger to get "sketched out" and begin recording.

"I want off this bus it's crazy, and I don't like being trapped, freaks me out but he's blocking the stairs as we try to leave," writes the video's poster.

"The buses are supposed to be safe friendly. I am six foot three, the lady 140 lbs, how sickening a thought it is that she might have been alone today."

Harry Moon, a representative for Canadian Auto Workers Union Local 114, was made aware of the incident and video on Wednesday afternoon. He had only brief comments at press time.

"The union will, as we always do, provide representation to this member to the best of our ability," he said.


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