A bus driver in Dublin has said the abuse he receives has always been “bad” and that he has been even forced to change his route because of it.
The issue of antisocial behaviour on public transport has long been an issue for workers and James said it became so common he even became acclimatised to it.
“There was this individual that was smoking a joint on the bus and I refused to carry him the next time he tried to get on,” he told Lunchtime Live.
“He told me the next time he sees me he’s going to stab me.
“You kind of get immune to it but that day I said, ‘You know what, I’m not taking anymore.’
“I gave a statement to the guards, it dragged on for a while and I think he went to court about four times and it got struck out.”
Despite this, James believes that more and more of his colleagues have become willing to speak out on the issue.
“I don’t know whether it’s getting any worse or if it’s just that people have had enough now and they’re highlighting it more,” he said.
“As long as I’ve worked there, it’s always been bad. There’s always, always something going on.”
Fortunately for James, passengers on his current route are well-behaved and he no longer feels his safety is at risk going to work.
“I’m on a grand route but you would have your shield up if you were working on [a different] route you’d definitely have your screen up,” he said.
“You don’t know what kind of lunatic you’re going to get basically.”
The National Bus and Rail Union has previously called for a dedicated transport police on the grounds that antisocial behaviour has “gone through the roof.”
Last year, then-Taoiseach Micheál Martin said Ireland was “some bit off” the establishment of such a force and James said it would help drivers in areas where antisocial behaviour is common.
“You know yourself the rough routes,” he said.
Main image: A bus driver. Image: Alamy.com