Brave 38 Bus Driver
Photo by Flickr user Jesse Johnson
“Please come to the front of the bus and pay the fare, young man.” The bus driver stood up forcefully and yelled, “This bus will not be moving until you pay the fare like the rest of the folks on this bus!”
As I entered a fairly empty 38L, I noticed something very interesting about the bus driver: He was a man on a mission…someone not to cross the wrong way or come across sideways.
Now, we’re not talking about a typical-size bus driver. We’re talking about a fairly large man in his early 40s with a very bald head. The young man smoothly walked to the front of the bus while on his cell phone, and paid a portion of the fare. The bus driver aggressively said, “Now look, I’m not playing with you, either you pay the fare like the rest of the working folks on this bus or get off my bus!”
The young man paused, switched his cell phone to his left hand, and calmly made a swing-like gesture to the driver! The driver moved away from the attempted fist swing then stood up, grabbed the operator phone, and yelled, “Now get the fuck off my bus or swing. I want you to swing so the cops could take you to jail. You’re on camera with a bus full of witnesses. You make a move!” The young man, clueless for his next act, turned and aggressively attempted to swing again, but missed. He looked around yelling, screaming, and unsure of what to do. He then got off the bus without making another gesture.
Now this is a bus driver with balls. Drivers like him take a stand and lay down the law. This made me proud to ride Muni every day. Yes, it was scary at times, but I was confident that the escalated situation was handled very appropriately. The bus driver showed commanding respect and set limits with this punk kid.
As a Muni commuter, I see punk kids trying to be smooth and slick to get away from paying fares on a daily basis. They cheat fares, punk commuters, smoke weed on the bus, start trouble on the bus, and intimidate other kids on the bus. I asked myself, Where do these entitled, disrespectful group of people get this behavior? They’re so confident in committing these acts; they’ll never experience consequences.
I felt empowered to speak out after my experience, so here I am. I felt this was a good deed and deserved a few cents from a daily Muni rider. Thanks for hiring folks that are tired to speak out and put my tax dollars to good use.
Do you have a story about a driver or fellow passenger whose actions made you proud? Have you told a Muni story to your friends at dinner? Share your Muni stories here at Muni Diaries.