City Paper is not for tourists
A Metrobus driver is in trouble for getting pushy—literally.
Video of a hulky driver shoving a not-so-hulky, maybe even scrawny, rider off a bus surfaced over the holiday weekend, and has WMATA hunting the offending employee. They weren’t able to immediately identify the driver from the video, but Metro spokesperson Dan Stessel told NBC Washington that ramming a customer off a bus “is completely inappropriate.”
Though there’s no indication of how the conflict got started, the video captures the driver opening the doors of the bus and the passenger proclaiming, “I ain’t done nothing to nobody, man.” The driver thinks different: “Go ahead and get off the bus, now,” he orders.
They argue for a few moments before the driver decides to go all linebacker. The rider resists being pushed off by grabbing onto a pole, but that only inspires the driver to bulldoze harder, eventually flinging the rider from the vehicle and into the street in an awkward and painful-looking flop.
Stessel told NBC4 the driver should have called transit police instead of acting like a club bouncer, but in my experience, there’s also another option. As a daily Metrobus rider, I’ve seen passengers who’ve earned the ire of a driver and a command to “get off” refuse to go. But that’s when the driver has defused the situation by pulling over and saying something like, “I can’t move this bus until you get off.” At that point, everyone stares daggers at the problematic rider, who eventually succumbs to social pressure. Deescalating conflicts would seem to be an important skill for a D.C. bus operator to have handy, since Metrobus drivers were assaulted 90 times last year.
Multiple calls to Metro for an update on their manhunt went unanswered.