Muni Operator Busted Texting While Driving Bus

Categories: Public Transit
Thumbnail image for rsz_cover-muni-0414.jpg
Crashes, doors flying open, drivers texting ... what's next?
Just the other day Muni made headlines after a train door randomly opened while the light rail flew through the Metro Tunnel. Already dubious about Muni safety, riders are now learning about a bus operator who was busted texting while behind the wheel.

KTVU reports that in February, a passenger recorded his bus driver sending and receiving text messages while driving the 24 down Divisadero with a busload of passengers in tow.

The passenger -- Shawn Higgins -- used his cell phone to record the one-minute clip of the operator's distracted driving. Higgins told KTVU that he confronted the bus operator, who got angry and stopped the bus.

She started saying, 'I'm going to show you. I'll never pick you up again asshole,'" Higgins told KTVU.
The driver, who is a nine-year veteran, was suspended for three days, but is now back to work.

While it's news, it's not really news. The California Public Utilities Commission has already launched a full-blown investigation on Muni safety after discovering that operators are sleeping, eating, and apparently texting while behind the wheel.

Paul Rose, spokesman for Muni, saw the most recent video and confirmed that no way, no how does the agency tolerate distracted driving.

"This is absolutely against our rules and regulations. Anytime anything like this happens, we try to take immediate action," Rose said.

Immediate action? Perhaps, this partially explains why half of Muni's operators are "unavailable" on any given day.

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This is smart behavior by operators on the eve of major labor negotitations....

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