Boston fires cell-phoning driver

mpta-sign-driver firedEmployees of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority are having a tough time grasping the concept of absolutely no cell phones on the job.

In early June, The Boston transit agency suspended its first worker for a violation of its strict cell phone policy. He exited a train wearing a Bluetooth wireless device and had a cell phone in a bag. A second offense means termination.

Now comes word that a bus driver found a way to bypass the MBTA policy. He stopped his bus, borrowed a cell phone from a passenger and then started yapping away.

As he wandered on and off the bus with the borrowed cell, he allowed new passengers to board without paying, apparently too busy to take fares. Meanwhile a few fare-payers cooled their heels while waiting their operator to get the hell off the phone.

The whole thing was taped by the bus video camera and reported by a neighbor. The four-year driver was sacked Thursday, for making an unauthorized stop.

The transit agency’s crackdown began after almost 50 people were injured when a trolley operator in Boston crashed into the rear of another trolley while sending a text message to his girlfriend. The May 8 crash inspired an immediate city ban on drivers of trolleys, trains, and buses having cell phones in their possession while working.

The MBTA policy went into effect on May 18.

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