Toronto bus driver holds passengers 'captive' over perceived snub

(File Photo)

(File Photo)

Jenny Yuen, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:37 PM ET

TORONTO — A passenger on a Toronto bus said he and five others were "held captive" Tuesday by the driver.

The delay happened after the driver heard someone utter, "You're such a jackass" and thought it was directed at him, said the passenger.

"We thought he was joking, but he wouldn't let us off the bus," said the man, 64, who didn't wish to be identified.

"The whole ordeal took well over an hour before we were let off the bus and that's because the police were present. The whole incident was ridiculous.”

Shortly after the bus left Pearson airport at about 1 a.m., two female flight attendants began to banter with the driver and one of them jokingly said the remark to the other, the man recalled.

The driver pulled the bus over on the shoulder of Hwy. 427.

"He then called somebody and said he was being abused by the passenger," he said. "We're all just sitting there looking at one another like, 'What's happening here?' The stewardess, who was nowhere in his face, said it was a misunderstanding. And he said, 'Now, she's in my face.'"

The passenger suggested the driver take them to the subway station and sort the mess out there, but the driver claimed he was too stressed, he said.

"He was out of control," the man said. "He stood in front of the door. No one was getting off that bus."

The man missed his connection and ended up having to walk 2 1/2 hours home.

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) said there will be not disciplinary action.

"The individual who filed a complaint boarded the bus," said TTC spokesman Danny Nicholson. "The fare box was jammed or broken and he advised her to pay her fare at the subway station. For some reason, she asked for a transfer, but we only give transfers out when you pay your fare. And she apparently called him a 'jackass.' He claims he was verbally assaulted."

Nicholson said normally the driver would have moved the bus to a location where passengers could get off, but because it was on the highway, that was not possible.

The head of the union that represents TTC workers said transit employees aren't getting overly sensitive — the public is.

"This seems to be the popular thing these days — any altercation or exchange between our people is immediately reported to the newspapers like it's somehow news," said Bob Kinnear.

jenny.yuen@sunmedia.ca


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