A crying baby can be stressful. A crying baby plus an angry stranger demanding that the baby stop crying can be hell. Such was the case for an Oregon mom one evening last week, who was booted from a public bus in suburban Portland because she couldn’t get her baby to stop crying, reports OregonLive.com.
The bus driver, who is reportedly a mother herself, got on the loudspeaker and told the woman that she needed to make her baby stop crying, saying “I can’t drive with that noise,” reported a fellow passenger who added that the baby was not crying loudly, and the mother was doing everything she could to soothe her baby—“nursing her, rocking her, singing to her, shushing her. The mom wasn’t sitting there indifferent.”
The driver eventually stopped the bus and walked to the back to speak with the mother, who reportedly spoke little English. The mom then got off the bus with her baby. When another passenger complained to the driver that, “You can’t just kick a woman off the bus because her baby’s crying,” the driver reportedly replied that if she didn’t like it, that passenger could get off the bus as well.
In a surprising show of solidarity with the mom, she and several other passengers did disembark—and then the bus pulled up several feet and stopped again, letting the remainder of the passengers off. "Every single person got off the bus, and it was a full bus, with just two empty seats," one of the passengers reported.
Passengers filed complaints with TriMet, the local public transportation authority, and the incident is currently under investigation. According to TriMet policy, drivers are supposed to call a supervisor for help if “vulnerable passengers” like babies or toddlers cause safety concerns—not just request that passengers get off. The driver has been placed on paid administrative leave.
Do you think the bus driver did the right thing, for safety's sake? What would you have done if you had been the mom in this situation? If you had been a fellow passenger?