Public has little understanding of the pressure Metro drivers are exposed to
I am someone who has driven public-transit buses for King County Metro for 30 years. After reading “Metro bus driver fired after assault on passenger,” [NWSaturday, Dec. 14] I think it’s a good time to discuss the stresses bus drivers have been under, especially as of late.
After attempting to rouse sleepers who can’t or won’t be wakened, I have called for either a supervisor or police officer to remove the person or to arrange for this removal on my next trip to a major hub. If the sleeper remains asleep, his presence, though annoying, doesn’t usually present a threat to the driver.
That said, having someone spit in your face is no minor event. As the article states, the driver and passenger “have both been charged with fourth-degree assault.” It does appear the driver overreacted by not only hitting the rider with the wheel block but then repeatedly punching him. I don’t think the driver’s actions are excusable. He himself said he “lost it” after being spat on.