Monday, July 28, 2014

Union wants bus driver in red-light run video to stay with TTC

TORONTO - Union boss Bob Kinnear is asking the TTC not to fire a bus driver caught on video running a red light on Eglinton Ave. and almost hitting a pedestrian.

 Kinnear, president of Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113, asked for a “compassionate penalty” after TTC officials confirmed Monday that the operator is “no longer with the TTC.”

The transit agency had conducted an investigation into a video which shows the bus blowing a red light at Ionview Rd. last week and then swerving around a pedestrian who had already started crossing Eglinton Ave.

“The operator is no longer with the TTC. I cannot saying anything further on that,” said TTC spokesman Brad Ross.

Ross wouldn’t say whether the driver was fired, citing “privacy concerns.”

“The video was sufficient for us to interview the operator and take it from there,” Ross said.

He stressed TTC operators, like all motorists, have to obey the Highway Traffic Act.

“As an organization, our expectation is that our operators not just obviously obey the Highway Traffic Act but exceed expectations and drive by example,” Ross said.

But Kinnear said while the union won’t contest any move to take the driver off the road, it wants management to reassign her to a non-vehicle job.

The union leader revealed the driver is a single mother of two children — she was a probationary employee who had been on the job for almost six months.

“She’s devastated,” Kinnear said. “She’s someone who went to work everyday, very mild-mannered.”

The TTC also confirmed Monday that it has wrapped up an investigation into an incident at St. Clair station where a collector allegedly called a disabled man a “diddler” when he asked for help paying his fare.

As the Toronto Sun reported, Kevin Rogers — a quadriplegic man — asked a collector to help him remove a token from a pouch strapped around his waist and the employee fired back: “Are you some kind of diddler?”

Ross said the TTC has “dealt with the matter internally, and responded directly to the customer.”

“We have interviewed the collector and we’ve taken appropriate action to deal with that situation — there’s not much more I can say on that one,” Ross said, adding the collector is still working for the TTC.

Rogers confirmed through e-mail on Monday that he had yet to receive a formal response in the mail from the TTC.

“I do not consider the matter closed,” he said.
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