Bus Drivers Testify in Augusta

A bill in Augusta would pave the way for driverless buses in Maine. Needless to say, bus drivers have big concerns.

Ed Knutson, Jon Cail, and Bill Nickerson (retired) came to Augusta to testify against LD 1724.  They are members of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) 714. 

Bus drivers do much more than simply turn the steering wheel. From helping disabled passengers, to conversing with the elderly, to giving directions, to navigating bad weather and changing road conditions, drivers are essential to our public transit system.

Jon Cail, a driver who lives in Westbrook, said: "Safety is our biggest concern. We deal every day with people.  A lot of times we are dealing with 88 passengers, people with disabilities, and we have big questions about how people are going to be serviced.  This comes down to customer service and safety of our passengers.  What happens if somebody falls on the bus?  There is nobody to call for an ambulance.  What happens with wheelchairs?  We deal with multiple wheelchairs a day.  Who will strap those wheelchairs in?  What happens if, god forbid, someone falls out of a wheelchair?  We do so much more than just drive the bus."

ATU 714 will continue to monitor this bill.