Bullied by bus drivers
Dec 4, 2012 / 3:30 pm
A West Kelowna man is having difficulty getting around town after his riding privileges were unofficially revoked by local transit drivers.
Nathan Peters says everything changed after he videotaped one driver talking on a hands free device while operating a bus – something that goes directly against company policy.
"I've been getting harassed and getting refused rides," says Peters, who made the video last month.
"I'm getting called names because of this, getting threats and no one seems to step up and do anything about it and it's getting way out of hand. It's embarrassing, I'm trying to get on a bus and getting refused rides 24/7"
A spokesperson for B.C. Transit says they are aware of the situation and have reached out to Peters.
"We met with the family and discussed how to de-escalate the situation," says Meribeth Burton, with B.C. Transit.
"Our hope is that he will de-escalate the confrontational behaviour, our buses and drivers will get back to what they should be doing -- which is serving the entire population -- and we've assured Nathan that if anything ever happens where he feels like he is not allowed to, or doesn't feel comfortable boarding our buses, that he gets in touch with our office."
The local transit union disagrees with claims that Peters is being bullied by the drivers, and instead call the situation a safety issue.
"I believe what the drivers are doing is they're worried - that while they're worried about him on the bus videotaping them, they're watching backwards when they should be watching forwards," says Les Milton, President of Amalgamated Transit Union local 1722.
"What they're doing is basically standing up for the rights of the other people on the bus to have a safe ride. There's enough distractions in the City of Kelowna and our work place is certainly hazardous and our schedules are pushed to the outer limit. Drivers are just deciding they're not going to take this man because the stress is not good on them."
According to Peters, nothing has changed and he is still being refused rides.
The driver in question had their contract terminated, but that decision has since been reversed.
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