Portland’s transit agency is looking for a woman involved in an incident last week. A driver confronted her because of her baby’s crying.
TriMet has acknowledged a driver stopped the #57 bus from Beaverton to Forest Grove last Thursday and told the woman she and her baby had to leave.
TriMet is investigating the incident and hasn’t released the driver’s name.
Mary Fetsch is a spokeswoman for TriMet. She says multiple complaints came in afterward.
“We received about a half dozens calls from people who were on the bus at the time of this incident.”
But Fetsch says the mother herself did not call to complain.
“We’re asking to get additional information from the mother herself. She’s the one most involved in this interaction. We’re asking if the mother could contact us and give us more details about what happened from her perspective.”
Fetsch says she doesn’t know if the mother was a regular rider of that line, or where she may live, since she got off the bus before her intended stop.
A local blog has published a transcript of what passed between the driver and a TriMet dispatcher. TriMet has confirmed the blog account is accurate.
During the conversation, the driver says she couldn’t run the bus safely with the baby screaming. The dispatcher tells her she has to drive the bus, and points out there’s no way to enforce quiet on public transportation.
The driver told the dispatcher that several passengers who saw the incident had sworn at her. She had told them to get off the bus as well.
Fetsch says TriMet has no policies pertaining to screaming children. If drivers feel they have a safety issue, Fetsch says they’re supposed to pull over and take steps to get some help.
But, she says, what happened on the #57 that day is still under investigation. And for now, the driver’s on paid administrative leave.