Being trapped in a bus, plane, or car with a screaming infant is unpleasant for all involved. The non-relatives of the infant are annoyed, the infant's caretakers are often embarrassed, and the infant herself is usually the state of utter discomfort and frustration that can only come from not being able to effectively communicate with anyone that you're about to shit your pants. One Oregon bus driver decided to try to take the "crying infant on public transportation" matter into her own hands earlier this week by kicking a mother and her crying baby off of her bus. As could be expected, the mother and child's ejection caused more problems than it solved.
According to the Associated Press, the woman was riding a bus in a suburb of Portland when her child, who other passengers say was under 2-years-old, began crying. The bus driver became agitated, taking to the loudspeaker and instructing the mother to calm the baby down, announcing that she "can't drive with that noise." Other passengers began muttering uncomfortably. A short time later, baby still crying, bus still full of uncomfortable onlookers, the driver pulled the vehicle over at a stop, approached the mother, and motioned for her to get off the bus. Several disgusted passengers also got off in protest.
The mother reportedly spoke only Spanish.
Following the confrontation and ejection, the bus driver had a conversation with her dispatcher. The AP reports,
The driver told that dispatcher that when the woman and child had gotten off the bus, four or five passengers insulted her, so "I said you guys can get off too."
The dispatcher told the driver: "In the future, if there is a baby crying on your bus there really isn't a whole lot you do. It's public transit."
A spokesperson for the agency that manages the public transportation system says it's against policy to remove bus passengers with crying children. The bus driver claims that the child wasn't just crying, but rather screaming at the top of his or her lungs. The driver's been placed on administrative leave while Portland's public transportation administrator investigates complaints stemming from the incident.
The baby had no comment.
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