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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Union: Barring Mechanical Failure, Driver of Crashed Muni Training Coach Likely to be Fired

Posted By on Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 10:59 AM

After learning that a Muni training bus yesterday managed to collide with a light pole, a pair of trees, two parking meters, and, finally, a building in Japantown, readers probably pondered two scenarios for the poor would-be driver: Dismissal or a quick trip to upper management.

In all seriousness, however, the fate of the driver-in-training was not mentioned in any media reports we could find. Is crashing your service vehicle a firing offense or is there some leeway here? Muni spokeswoman Kristen Holland said she couldn't comment on specific employee disciplinary matters, but would get back to us with a big-picture answer. But the Transportation Workers Union was more candid: Don't expect this driver to be around long.

Raphael Cabrera, the union's executive vice president, said a driver who crashes his or her training coach "usually suffers dismissal." Barring a brake failure or other equipment meltdown, Cabrera foresees that outcome in this case as well: "That's a terminating offense."

Cabrera, who drove Muni buses on "just about every line" between 1980 and 2002, struggles to remember the last time a would-be driver washed out after crashing on a training run: "This is very rare."

Still, young drivers are on pins and needles long after their training missions are in the books. Cabrera notes that drivers' probation periods extend for six months.

The cause of yesterday's collision is under investigation. If, indeed, there was some manner of mechanical failure, the unfortunate driver can rest easier. Those who ride Muni, however, might be a bit unnerved.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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