This is the video that’s sparked outrage at San Francisco City Hall and among the area’s disabled rights advocates. A Muni bus driver, Anthony Jones, greets a woman in a wheelchair with the words, "I don't know what the heck they let you guys on here for anyhow." The woman takes exception with what Jones says, and he responds by ordering her off the bus. When she refuses to leave, he puts the bus out of service, and apparently warns her he won’t pick her up the next time he sees her.
Another surveillance video shows what happens the next time they meet. It’s four months later, and the woman and her caregiver are waiting at the curb.
Jones says, "Catch the next bus."
Woman: "Pardon me?"
Jones: "Catch the next one."
Jones: “I told you to."
The bus pulls away.
Disabled rights advocates say it’s a violation of federal law – the Americans with Disabilities Act. Some of the most heartfelt reaction came from Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier who’s in a wheelchair herself. After seeing our report last night, Alioto-Pier had her staff call Muni boss Nat Ford and union chief Irwin Lum for a meeting early next week. We’ll keep track of what happens and get back to you.
We’re already working on our next installment from Muni’s video vault, and we’re receiving many good leads on other stories. We’ll also be looking at the difficulties bus drivers face on the job, so if you’re a Muni employee and have some ideas, please e-mail me.