I-Team: RTA driver fired for using GPS

CLEVELAND- The FOX 8 I-Team has found an RTA driver fired for using a GPS device.

The agency fired Lisa Brown, a Paratransit bus driver.

Just weeks ago, RTA fired a bus driver for using a cell phone to call for help with a disturbance on his bus. The radio on that bus was broken. And, after the union appealed and the I-Team revealed what happened, RTA reconsidered and gave that driver his job back.

The union now also is appealing what happened to Lisa Brown. She drove a bus shuttling people with disabilities from homes to appointments and more.

A short video clip shows Brown driving, and then she appears to reach for the GPS at her windshield and the video freezes.

The union says the camera on the driver was triggered when Brown hit a bump; she had the GPS up by her bus radio, and the GPS unit fell.

In firing Brown, RTA wrote, using the GPS was a “violation of the Electronic Device Policy.”

But Union President William Nix argues, "She's gonna be punished for doing her job to get to a location."

Nix says Paratransit drivers don’t have regular routes. They constantly search for addresses. So Brown had her own GPS. And the union leader believes drivers should not be using old-fashioned maps.

Nix said, "This is making her job better to make sure she gets there on time. So no complaints; she knows exactly where she's going."

But in dismissing Brown, an RTA boss also wrote, “Although I sympathize…the explanation does not offset the seriousness of the offense.”

The union says this driver hit a bump, and that triggered the bus camera on the driver’s seat. The union is hoping to see this driver rehired and GPS units put in all Paratransit buses.

Last week, the I-Team revealed a top executive at RTA had been taken off the job to be fired. Instead, he retired and then received a payout of more than $100,000.

No deal here.

Again, RTA considers this a safety violation.