HOUSTON – Each day in Houston, 145,000 people put their lives in the hands of Metro, the vast majority of them on buses. So imagine the surprise of one man who recently captured images of a bus swerving through traffic with a smart phone mounted on his dash.
"I’m not doing this for my 10 minutes of fame," the man said, wishing to remain anonymous. "I’m doing it because it’s the right thing to do."
He said he was traveling west on the Katy Freeway at 7:30 a.m. when the erratic driving started.
"She passed me in the left lane and almost hit me," he said. "She cut me off. When she got in front of me, I noticed she was weaving and not able to maintain her lane."
The video shows the bus swerving from one lane to another, at one point forcing a pickup truck to take evasive actions. The bus was empty at the time and on its way to the Kingsland Park and Ride to pick up passengers.
The anonymous photographer followed it there.
"I asked her if she was OK and she said the wind was blowing."
According to weather service reports, conditions at nearby airports for the time in question indicate the winds were relatively calm, less than 10 mph.
That’s not enough to make a bus swerve, said Metro, which took swift action after watching the video.
"She’s a newer employee. She came out of training in June, and she’s been driving for two months," said Andy Skabowski, a senior vice president for Metro. "She’s been pulled off the second half of her shift and will be put back into retraining based on what we saw."
Skabowski said she will also be re-evaluated to determine if she’s best suited for driving. He said the bus driver did speak to a police officer and that she was not impaired. He also thanked the anonymous man with the smart phone for bringing it to the agency’s attention, saying Metro wants to be aware of any potential problems, so they can be addressed.