Two separate investigations have been launched after a CKNW reporter was loudly and repeatedly verbally assaulted on a bus while coming to work Wednesday morning.
Transit Police spokesperson Anne Drennan says investigations have been launched to determine what happened, who was responsible, and what could have been done.
“Coast Mountain Bus Company will be investigating to see exactly what the situation was, what the bus driver knew, and take it from there. Transit Police will be investigating the actual suspect who obviously was harassing this woman on the bus. So there will be two separate investigations taking place.”
CKNW’s Chantal Coschizza says except for one man, no one on the bus, not even the driver, did anything to help. Drennan says they will look into that as well.
“We will be looking into how much the operator was aware of. Having said that there are things if the operator is aware of a situation on the bus that they can do. So they can pull over to a safe place, open the doors, contact the communications centre who can dispatch security police et cetera.”
She says police will use footage from the bus to identify the man.
Drennan adds people being victimized and bus passengers nearby can text details to Transit Police directly at 87.77.77 and police will respond.
According to the head of the bus driver’s union these kinds of incidents are all too common on transit.
Nathan Woods says drivers assess the situation before deciding on the best approach, but he adds they are often damned if they do and damned if they don’t.
Drivers not equipped to deal with risky situations
“We don’t stop the bus and stop everything just to stop that person and interfere with it because it could escalate beyond what we are able to deal with.”
Woods says drivers risk being assaulted if they step in, or facing disciplinary action.
But he says if the situation looks dangerous or someone calls for help they don’t hesitate on calling police.
And he says people can help by stepping in or taking advantage of Translink’s ‘see something, say something’ campaign.
While some people came to the aid of a CKNW reporter and producer on her nightmare busride to work this morning, it appears the bus driver was not one of them.
CKNW reporter Chantal Coschizza says her ride across the Granville Bridge, in a packed rush-hour bus, was interrupted by a middle aged man berating her for what she was wearing and shouting that her breasts were “hanging out”.
“That goes on for a few stops non-stop. And this guy walks up and just wedges himself in between me and the other dude and (says) ‘stop talking to her’. And the other guy (says) ‘no, no if you look down you can see her breasts.'”
Coschizza says the good samaritan was joined by a woman giving moral support but the driver did nothing.
She was most concerned when the man threatened to exit the bus with her.