Dear MTA Bus Drivers

Dear MTA Bus Drivers,

Top story on the local news tonight is that you MTA Bus drivers get two months paid time off work for getting spat on… which is your way of spitting on MTA riders.

Next Bus Please, this one has been spit on and needs to recover

Some MTA bus drivers take 60 days time to “recover” at full pay after a rider spits on them. That’s about 59 days more than necessary, according to the average pedestrian. Bus drivers are given the special protection of a hefty sentence to anyone who assaults them. When that threat fails, and the driver is successfully spat on, the NYC Transit rule book permits excessive periods of time given to recuperate.

Suffering from a traumatizing experience comes from dealing (often unsuccessfully, hence the spitting) with the public, the second most important part of the job, behind driving the bus.

Last year, spitting was the cause for one-third of the 150+ work-related “assaults” on the city’s buses, according to agency data. There were approximately 83 spitting incidents, with around 50 bus drivers taking time off to because they could. The best things in life are free.

Uninterested in combating the spit dilemma, the MTA has not installed spit guard shields to any of their buses.

Some bus drivers who had been spat on called out for a day, but there was one case that went on for over 190 days, according to a transit spokesman. An employee’s doctor and a generous MTA doctor are required to confirm that the spitting caused trauma, or the case goes before a judge. This is super serious stuff people, witnesses are involved. As much time as possible must be wasted, thanks union.

“You have to look at every case individually. If someone spits on your pants, it’s a lot different from being spit on your face,” said Joe Smith, Captain of the Obvious. Smith is the transit’s bus chief, and has suggested that agency reevaluate whether spitting should still be classified as an assault. What an idea! Thanks, Joe!

Curious riders wonder what other acts of mischief are considered assault. The only way to tell may be by seeing what happens if you fling a rubber band, fart on, or moon a bus driver.

Drivers are paid about $28 an hour, which is reason # 4,591 why the MTA has no money. So while bus drivers cry saliva to shrinks about all the abuse they take, the agency provides subs for regular workers, or pays overtime to make up for the person/”victim” who is off work.

“We’re not in tanning spas when we’re out,” said Oneisha Portlette, a bus driver who took off five months after she was spit twice in the face, with the saliva landing in the back of her eye. “You wouldn’t understand until it happens until you. It’s very stressful.”

Oneisha, if you’re reading this, you can spit in my face, I’ll rub it into my eye, we’ll go to the hospital, hit up the emergency eye wash station, make sure I don’t have rabies from you or anything, and then you can send me your check for five months of pay. This is a recession, TRT (times are tough). I’ll be cool, though. $22,400 for an embarrassing act of disrespect, then I’ll be on the way to the bank before I swing by the tanning spa.

Spitting attacks are up, with cases of “body fluid exposure” increasing as the amount of trashy people rising, according to union figures. Officials expect the spitting to get worse after the service cuts go into effect in June, something that maybe wouldn’t have to happen if the MTA union didn’t shamelessly spoil their employees.

New York City has been found to be the safest big city of the 25 biggest cities in the country. Crime is down over 5% in the last year. What do drivers in, say, Detroit, think? Considering the generous pay and amazing treatment, they are probably ready to move here.

Come on, MTA bus drivers, get happy. You got it good, especially if you didn’t get it in the face.


Rachel L. Arbeit


The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Reminds me how glad I am my profession involves zero face-to-face interaction. I wouldn’t work two hours before having to go back on “sick leave.” Oh wait, bloggers don’t get benefits. Nevermind!

  2.’s done it once more. Amazing post!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: