Fired RTA Driver Calls for ‘Safe Bus Riding Month’

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by Allison Brown, Fox 8 Reporter

CLEVELAND -- It’s a plea for politeness.  The bus driver who was recently fired from RTA for punching a passenger is actually at the forefront of a campaign to keep the peace on the bus.

Artis Hughes is behind the effort to establish a courteous and polite policy on buses, and is also pushing for December to be thought of as ‘safe bus riding’ month.

The idea is to help bus riders remember the golden rule, because he knows firsthand what can happen when you don’t follow it.

The viral video of the September altercation between Hughes and Shi’Dea Lane continues to circulate the internet.

For more on the viral video, click here

In early November another RTA bus driver was involved in a violent encounter.

Hughes believes the overall display of violence on the bus needs to stop.

"Let December be safe bus riding month," said Hughes, at a rally in Downtown Cleveland.

Many RTA riders tell FOX 8 that when it comes to people riding the bus nowadays, a lot of them need attitude adjustments.

"Those kids are really rude, they say anything out of their mouth," said Benny James Thornton, Jr., who frequently rides RTA.

"There are times when I have been on the bus and I have heard both the drivers and the passengers

in a very confrontational way," explained Dymphna Clingain, a bus rider.

But it’s not just about the arguing, many riders say etiquette on the bus needs to change too.

"If anybody's sitting in the handicapped spot where a handicapped person is supposed to sit at,

they should get up," said Thorton.

“When a senior come on the bus, you should get up and give her your seat, they don't do that," Ronny Bowie expressed.

Hughes hopes the positive message will overcome, and encourage people to speak up if their ride is disrupted.

"If we can get the word to the people, at least with the people riding the bus, they can intervene," Hughes said.

The former bus driver and other supporters are going to RTA with the idea of a polite policy.

Hughes is also holding out hope that he gets his job back.  He has taken his case to court.

For more on this story, click here

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