Teens Terrorizing and Harassing Bus Drivers/Riders


Although there are murders and stabbings on public transportation in Los Angeles, it is only recently that there is an awareness of the trickle-down effect of the lack of safety. Lawlessness and chaos have now reached every corner of the city, including the buses that service Pacific Palisades.

A reader wrote on May 29: “My housekeeper, who takes the bus, along with all the other hard-working housekeepers, is being screamed at by Palisades High School kids on the bus. They take two seats, one for themselves and one for their backpack. They yell at the bus driver. They don’t pay. What can be done?”

Another said, “My housekeeper of more 35 years has traveled on the bus (two hours each way) for years. Last week she arrived about 15 minutes later than usual because there was a bad altercation on the # 9 Blue Bus – kids (teens) were harassing the bus driver who finally just stopped the bus and called security.”

She said it happens often that teens are abusive to drivers in the mornings and afternoons on the way to and from school.

Another resident’s housekeeper, who has worked for her for more than 25 years, “gave me an earful!”

The housekeeper told her, “Es terrible. No les importa.” (They don’t care.)

The woman reported students push nonstudents out of the way to get on the bus. The students take a seat for themselves and one for their backpack. Most of the older people have to stand.

The woman said kids yell obscenities and they get on the bus and don’t pay. When the driver asks for the payment, students scream at him.

Another resident wrote, “We depend on people who take the bus, and they depend on their salaries. I realize this is not a school problem as they have no control over what happens on city buses and apparently the parents of these teens are oblivious – don’t know, don’t care…..”

A reader asked if it was possible to get a security person on the bus, particularly when the kids are riding.

Another reader has tried to solve the problem by having her housekeeper leave earlier every day to avoid the situation.

“Bus drivers must also feel unsafe,” another wrote.

One reader wrote: “This is a shameful situation. Perhaps we need a security guard, or police officer, for a period of time to maintain order. The high school should not, again, be responsible for solving this problem. But they should be involved. All parents whose child rides the bus should be notified.”

Another person suggested that all kids riding the bus have their parents do “guard duty” on the bus, at least once.

“There should be cameras on the buses,” one wrote. “They might provide a sobering effect and/or evidence to publish on campus and in local publications showing the bad behaviors and perpetrators for possible action by families and schools. There has been enough crime on public transportation, including buses, to warrant this expense.”

CTN contacted Mayor Karen Bass, who is currently trying to tackle Metro safety, Councilmember Traci Park and the City of Santa Monica

Santa Monica’s Public Information Officer Lauren Howland responded with a press release that stated that specially trained unarmed officers will ensure passengers feel comfortable and assist riders with route and fare information, address safety concerns and educate riders about the Big Blue’s Bus’s Code of Conduct.

CTN asked Howland, “explain to me again how this addresses the concerns of kids terrorizing working people?” She did not respond.

Park had not responded by press time, when she does, CTN will update the story.

Mayor Bass in a May 16 statement said, “we are taking decisive action so that the people of Los Angeles Feel safe on Metro buses, trains and in stations. We have a responsibility to each and every rider and bus driver: they have to feel safe on Metro.”

Shortly after her statement, a man was shot dead on a Metro bus in Commerce. Since the beginning of the year, two people have been killed on buses and another on a train.

On May 31, a man reportedly stabbed his dog on a L.A. Metro train and numerous people tried to alert Metro staff, who did not respond.

Later a statement was issued by Metro about the incident, which thanked the multiple riders who reported it. “We’re very sorry anyone had to experience this. Our security team has noticed LAPD.”

One social media user asked, “Will you ask him nicely to pay his fare next time? And if he doesn’t, give him a stern warning?”

On the same day, a Metro bus operator revealed that she had been attacked on the job.

A video shot from the driver’s phone, shows a man banging on the windows of the bus. The driver said the man also opened her window and poured beer on her seat.

The driver, who had about 20 passengers on the bus, called her supervisors, but help didn’t come for an hour, she said.

Supposedly Bass is asking to deploy uniformed officers to ride buses and trains and having plexiglass barriers installed around drivers. The mayor also wants to enable cell service in underground stations and aboard moving buses and trains.

Writer and civil rights activist James Baldwin said, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”

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3 Responses to Teens Terrorizing and Harassing Bus Drivers/Riders

  1. Mikael Kuhn says:

    My son rides the #602 home from school. He has had some devastating experiences. He took audio of a kid telling the bus driver he was going to rape his mom, and that he had a bomb. I called Revere but their hands are fairly tied when it’s off campus. They said METRO has cameras but won’t release footage to the schools. It’s all quite sad.

  2. Jim McCashin II says:

    Regarding: “Santa Monica’s Public Information Officer Lauren Howland …press release that stated that specially trained unarmed officers will ensure passengers feel comfortable …, address safety concerns and educate riders about the Big Blue’s Bus’s Code of Conduct.
    The devil is in the details. How, exactly will this actually happen?
    -“ensure passengers feel comfortable”, what is that and how do you do that?
    – “educate riders about the Big Blue’s Bus’s Code of Conduct,” what is that, a lecture to raucous high school kids on bad behavior?
    That press release is nothing more than ambiguous politico-speak, blah, blah. “See, we did something! We issued a press release!” It’s the old actions v. words. Which is louder and more believable?
    Keep up the campaign!

  3. Eileen says:

    This sounds terrible. Traci Parks, you are a problem solver – PLEASE HELP!

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