Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Beware of the 3T Tysons busnew wayfinding signs. Our return route took us along Pimmit Dr. through the Pimmit Hills area. As we approached Route 7, a 3T Metro bus driver tried to pass where there wasn't enough room. The bus came very close to me as I proceeded in the right lane to the intersection. I yelled at the driver to give me some room.
The driver was stopped and she opened the door and asked what I said. I explained that she needed to give me at least 2 feet when passing. She said that it was OK because she saw me, in fact, how could she not see me "with that silly ass hat" I was wearing.
Da Brim is not the most fashionable bike accessory. It's a wide brim that secures to my helmet to keep the sun off my face. After 3 skin cancer surgeries I'm trying not to take any chances with sun exposure. Regardless, I didn't think it was appropriate that she would disparage my bike attire. Given that she passed too close and her general attitude I said I was going to report her.
She then said "F$%k You, I don't care who you call" or something along those lines, although there was not doubt about the first two words. The signal changed and the driver proceeded to come completely into my lane. Had I proceeded forward she would have taken me out.
I recorded her bus number, 3024, and immediately called the WMATA customer service number to complain. The operator was very sympathetic and apologetic. She said she would pass on my information. I asked to be notified about any actions taken against the driver.
The following day I received a message from a WMATA rep who said "The information that you have provided will help us to identify the operator so that we can take the proper action. The operator will be interviewed and reinstructed in her duties. Safe and courteous service is the responsibility of every Metro employee and conduct that deviates from that will not be tolerated." I thanked the rep and asked to be informed of what actions were taken. A few days later I called to ask again and was told that the rep had not been contacted by the driver's supervisor.
All I can assume is that nothing was done to the driver. She obviously had an attitude about bicyclists and didn't care much about my personal safety. I'll continue to follow up with WMATA. I was surprised that a WMATA employee would make derogatory comments about my personal appearance and shout obscenities at me while stopped in the middle of the road with a bus full of passengers.
If you're riding in the Tysons area and see a 3T bus, beware. It could be driver by an angry woman who doesn't think much about bicyclists.
That she behaved that way is shocking. Those jobs are much coveted, and an attitude like that could cost her ... of course, that's IF Metro follows up on this. Let us know how it turns out.