While on the 53 bus (#6494) a little bit before 9:00 the morning of Oct. 14, a passenger did not have enough funds on his SmartTrip card. It was pouring rain, cold, and naturally, the passenger did not want to have to get off, so he asked the bus driver what to do. The bus driver did not respond. He completely ignored the passenger's request for help.Other items:
After the passenger's friend told him that he could load his SmartTrip on the bus, the passenger took $20 from his wallet, fed it into the machine and then re-scanned his card, but the machine would not process the transaction.
Again, the passenger asked the bus driver for assistance: "Can you write down my SmartTrip number? Can you help me, please? I just lost $20!"
The bus driver, again, ignored him. He said nothing. When other passengers pleaded with the bus driver to help the passenger, the bus driver did not say a single word.
Later, at 14th and U streets, a Circulator bus had broken down, so passengers from that bus began to board ours.
One of the passengers from the Circulator asked our driver if the bus stopped at P Street. The driver ignored him as well--silence.
Another passenger had to help the man out because the bus driver would not.
Finally, as the bus approached R Street, it was getting full, but there was enough room that the driver could have announced to passengers to move back a little bit.
Instead, he remained silent while a woman with an infant child stood in the pouring rain at 14th and R Street, unable to board.
Before I got off, I noticed the little sign above the driver's head that said something to the effect of "Please do not talk to me so that I can safely drive this vehicle."
Now, I see drivers having conversations with passengers all the time, not to mention I've had drivers help me out with directions or my SmartTrip, including a time when my card wouldn't scan, and the driver wrote down my number so that the next day the money had been credited.
So what's this guy's excuse?
Debunking SmarTrip myths (kurtraschke.com)
Funny Toles cartoon (WaPo)