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EXCLUSIVE: Bus driver bypassing Lake Shore stop, TTC blames driver confusion

Faiza Amin | posted Thursday, Feb 9th, 2017

At first Adrian Brontmeyer thought it was just an isolated incident: A TTC operator drove past him at the bus stop, leaving him and other would-be passengers out in the cold.

But after it happened four more times in less than one week, he quickly learned that wasn’t the case.

“It’s been the same driver five out of the six days that has just bypassed me,” he told CityNews on Wednesday.

Each morning, Brontmeyer heads to the 501 stop on the corner of Lake Shore Boulevard and Twenty Seventh Street, and around 6:20 a.m. boards the bus to work.

He says a new driver has taken over the route in the last three weeks, and for the first time since last Wednesday, he’s been feeling cornered.

“I’ve never had words with him, except for saying good morning maybe, other than that, I’ve never had a conversation with him,” Brontmeyer said.

One bus driver has been bypassing this stop on Lake Shore Boulevard, seen on Feb. 8, 2017. CITYNEWS

 

After the first three times, he decided to start documenting the incidents on his phone. A video he shared with CityNews taken Tuesday morning, shows Brontmeyer at the stop with what seems to be two other riders. Seconds later, a bus can be seen zooming past them.

A second video, shows a bus slowing down, to which Brontmeyer can be heard saying: “must be a different guy, oh yeah he’s stopping for me now.” But the doors to the bus never open, and Brontmeyer says he now realizes the bus slowed down in the first place because of the red light.

“(He’s) stopping at a red light, looking right at me, shaking his head no, not opening the doors, and driving off,” he said. “I’m a little frustrated.”

Each time the bus zoomed past him, he says he filed a complaint with the TTC and even sent in both videos.

“Every morning they tell me the same thing, that they’re going to pass it to head office, but nothing has been done, it’s continually the same driver every morning,” Brontmeyer said.

The TTC tells CityNews bypassing stops happens from time to time, but confirms the stop Brontmeyer uses, is indeed a service stop and the bus should’ve picked up passengers.

“We have identified the operator in this particular case, and we will speak with him to ensure that going forward he does service that stop,” TTC spokesperson Brad Ross said. “We don’t understand why it wasn’t being serviced. It may, in fairness, be a matter of confusion.”

Ross says that the driver could have been confused, and thought that the stop was taken out of service.

“That portion of the 501 [route] along Lake Shore used to be all streetcars, but because of construction that’s happening a little east, it’s all buses now and no streetcars,” Ross explains. “It may have been some confusion, and that operator could be new to the route, so I want to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one.”

CityNews asked if the driver would resume operations on the same route on Thursday. Ross said he doesn’t know.

“I rely on the TTC every day, and for the most part they’re good,” Brontmeyer explains. “But if this is going to continue, and they move him to another route, then I’d like to see something more done.”

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