Meanwhile, in Portland, it doesn't matter how bad you smell as long as you don't throw hamburgers at the driver.
According to (sober) witness Mariah Miller, on a recent night two women, "drunk as shit," boarded the 56 bus downtown and proceeded to be noisy nuisances until the driver requested they get off. When the women didn't leave, the driver began clapping his hands behind their heads, eventually instigating a physical fight between the three. One of the women threw her half-chewed burger at the driver, upon which he closed the doors to detain the women and called the police. A third woman tried to help by kicking the driver, upon which he kicked her back before pinning down the original troublemakers.
"I was really disturbed," says Miller. "The driver wasn't very professional and was on a big power trip." Both women were arrested by the police, who confirmed they were repeat offenders.
According to Tri-Met communications director Mary Fetsch, the unnamed driver acted appropriately. "He did all the right things. The only time operators can touch a passenger is to defend themselves. But these incidences are rare." ANNA SIMON
MORE TRANSIT NEWSIn an attempt to soothe traffic problems in Seattle, last week the city's mayor, Greg Nickels, announced that city hall is considering installing a streetcar throughout the Lake Union neighborhoods, much like the one running through Portland's Pearl District.
In a press conference, Mayor Nickels explained they were using Portland's streetcar as a model, yet pooh-poohed our city, telling the Seattle Times, "Obviously that's a very exciting model and a success story in a city not as dynamic as Seattle."
Those hoping to provide stories about their streetcar experiences in Portland or tell Mayor Nickels exactly how "dynamic" we'd look with our foot up his ass, can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone, (206) 684-4000. PB