Harassed By DC Bus Driver: “I was relying on him to get me home, not hit on me & make me feel unsafe!”

Location: “E” bus from Friendship Heights to Petworth
Time: Night (7:30pm-12am)

I was rushing to the Friendship Heights bus stop after work around 11:30pm but slowed down once I saw that the driver was still standing outside the bus. As I approached I reached into my bag to pull out my metro card and a slip of paper fell out; I picked it up and went to get on the bus. I then hear from behind me, “hey, you dropped my number back there” and turn around to see it was the bus driver. I find that “pick-up line” to be very uncreative and just plain stupid (as most of them are) so I reply “Oh yeah?”, annoyingly chuckle, and continue to board the bus while ignoring him.

Its a full bus and I sit near the front so when its time for me to get off at my stop I walk towards the front exit. As I’m turning to walk down the steps of the bus I feel someone reach out and tap my hand. I turn around once again to see the bus driver with a stupid grin on his face and he is starting to rattle off his phone number. I immediately say “ha”, give him a dirty look and step off the bus.

What I really felt like doing was yelling at him to leave me the hell alone. I encounter street harassment on the regular, as many other people do too, and it is never ok. This particular situation made me uncomfortable because it was someone that I was relying on to get me home, he was on the clock for a public service job, and he reached into my space and physically touched me. Don’t violate my space, looking for attention!

Emphases by CASS.
Submitted 5/9/13 by “Sara Shaw”

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault?
Submit your story to help raise awareness about the pervasiveness and harmful effects of street harassment. All submissions are posted anonymously unless otherwise specified.

If you experience or have experienced sexual harassment on the DC Metro system:
Whether the event is happening at the moment or occurred months ago, we strongly encourage you to report to Metro Transit Police (MTP): www.wmata.com/harassment or 202-962-2121. Reporting helps identify suspects as well as commons trends in harassment. Recommended tip: Program MTP’s number into your phone so you can easily reach them when needed.

If you need assistance in coping with public sexual harassment or assault, please contact the DC Rape Crisis Center (DCRCC) 24/7 crisis hotline at 202-333-RAPE (202-333-7279).


2 Responses

  1. Michele Z. Keith

    Thank you everyone for your thought-provoking comments. We at WMATA know we have a lot to do to make this campaign a success and we truly value your input. We will monitor the campaign and if we feel it’s falling short, we will try new tactics to address the problems. Please keep up the dialogue and let us know how we’re doing. More importantly, if you see anyone being harassed, or are the victim of harassment yourself, please report it to Metro Transit Police, at 202.962.2121 or harassment@wmata.com. Special thanks to CASS for working with us to make Metro a safer ride.

  2. Jordan Acevedo

    The fact that WMATA isn’t acting more speedily is scary, because their excuse is simply that he didn’t touch her or force her to do anything. What if he had? Why is everyone’s solution to a possible problem, “Well, it hasn’t happened yet, so it probably won’t happen in the future”? (See: Gulf oil spill .)Instead of waiting for this bus driver to actually act on his verbal harassment, why not prevent it from happening at all?