On Wednesday, July 4, the TriMet driver who kicked two teen girls off his bus for kissing, and allegedly called them "disgusting sickos," returned to duty—after less than two weeks of disciplinary action.
According to the mother of one of the girls, the punishment was inadequate, only amounted to a week of "retraining," and didn't address the seemingly discriminatory reason why the driver kicked the girls off the bus in the first place.
"I'm unhappy that they haven't addressed the discrimination aspect of all this," Ronnda Zezula said. "Not much has happened to the driver... He's gotten such a good deal. He's remained anonymous and he's never had to apologize—that's been left to the corporate office.
"We just want this guy called on why he did what he did," she added.
TriMet won't disclose what the driver's punishment entailed, but confirmed that the 64-year-old driver returned on July 4 to his old route. Zezula says she was told it was only for specific policies he violated, having to do with removing minors from the bus (i.e., a supervisor needs to be called, alternative transportation has to be arranged, and they have to be dropped at a bus stop, not just along the road).
"There are 1,400 TriMet drivers, and I'm sure 90 percent of them are great," Zezula adds. "But that other 10 percent now learned that they can kick someone off the bus for discriminatory reasons, and all they'll get is a week in an air-conditioned room."
In the meantime, one of the girls still rides the same bus route—the number 12—twice a day. For their trouble, the girls got 10 free bus tickets.