Following recent arrests on TheBus, riders credit drivers in times of conflict

Three people have been arrested in two days following incidents that all started on TheBus.

On Monday night in McCully, police say a bus passenger pulled a knife on a group of teenagers.

Just a few hours earlier in the same area, a woman was arrested for being disruptive on the bus.

Then on Tuesday afternoon, police arrested a bus passenger in Haleiwa.

So do people feel safe riding TheBus?

In light of what happened this week, we headed over to the Kalihi Transit Station to talk to passengers. Many we spoke with said bus drivers know what they’re doing in times of conflict.

Earlier this month, city bus officials told us about 900 drivers go through emergency training to respond to accidents, terror attacks, and unruly passengers.

The buses are also equipped with four to six cameras.

“They are fully confident, capable in their abilities, able to execute every route, and I haven’t had a single problem, hadn’t heard of a single problem. It’s great,” said passenger Sean Fultz.

We reached out to the city and Oahu Transportation Services to find out how bus drivers are keeping their passengers safe.

Are bus passengers who cause trouble allowed back on the bus? A city spokesman said they cannot be banned, but bus drivers can ask disruptive passengers to leave.

We also talked to a couple of bus passengers who shared their experiences with conflict on the bus.

“He’s yelling for no reason and the bus driver said, ‘Oh can you stop yelling? Because you are disturbing the whole bus,’ and he still kept on yelling or saying something,” said Jeremiah, who noted that the bus driver handled the situation professionally before police came to arrest the man.

Another passenger also said his bus driver managed to deescalate a conflict without calling police.

“The bus driver said, ‘Hey, you are going to have to be quiet or I’m going to have to let you out on the next stop,'” said passenger Patrick Chatham. “At least she did that because you have to consider all the other passengers too.”

Police said officers responded to six incidents in the last four months on TheBus. Only three of those involved arrests.

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