Some CU Transit drivers faces allegations of verbal abuse, neglect

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.(KSPR) - Allegations of abuse and neglect have been leveled against some city bus drivers in Springfield.

Dozens of passengers say they have filed complaints over the past two years and feel ignored. They addressed Springfield City Council on Monday night and asked it to look into the problem.

Tanya and Justin Myhre depend on CU Transit.

"I've lived in Denver, Phoenix, and Austin. I've never seen bus drivers act like this before," said Justin Myhre.

They say they have suffered verbal abuse and neglect.

"The bus driver was not paying attention. All in all, Tanya's foot was cut. Blood was coming. The bus driver left the scene. The security guard came over. The bus driver got on another bus and took off," he said.

Myhre explains that his wife walks with a cane and needs the bus driver to lower the ramp so that she can board safely. This doesn't always happen he says. His wife has to request additional assistance. He says she doesn't always get it.

An elderly friend of the Myhres brings along a small cart with her where ever she goes. They say bus drivers go out of their way to harass her.

"This driver criticizes and literally bullies the elderly, the disabled and even the homeless," said Justin Myhre.

After taking two buses and a tough climb up stairs, the Myhres are appealing to City Council.

More than 50 other riders signed a petition that Justin Myhre says was required to get time with the council. He says he was unsatisfied with the solution that CU Transit offered.

"The main supervisor -- Mr. Turner is his name -- he had reassured me (this is the third time we've heard this) that these drivers are being put through a class so they could learn more social behaviors and become better drivers," he said.

The Myhres hope Council will take their concerns to heart.

"If their behavior continues, somebody somewhere is going to get hurt," said Justin Myhre

Councilwoman Kristi Fulnecki asked the city manager to get in touch with CU Transit managers about this.

When asked for comment on this, City Utilities said it investigates all complaints but doesn't comment on any disciplinary actions taken. A spokesman says all employees are held to high standards while on and off duty.