British Columbia

Black bus driver in Vancouver says passenger told him to hang himself

TransLink says it is investigating a possible racially motivated incident after a Black bus driver said in a Facebook post that a passenger told him to hang himself with a piece of rope that was left on the bus.

Transit authority says it is investigating the incident, calling it 'deeply concerning'

A photograph posted on Facebook by a Coast Mountain Bus Company driver who says that the rope pictured led to a racist comments by a passenger. (Facebook)

TransLink says it is investigating a possible racially motivated incident after a Black bus driver said in a Facebook post that a passenger told him to hang himself with a piece of rope that was left on the bus.

On Friday, the driver — who is only identifying to himself to CBC News as Romone out of worry about his job and enduring further emotional stress — posted two pictures of a rope with a loop at one end and wrote about an encounter with a passenger on Wednesday that left him sweating and his heart racing.

He said in the post that during an evening shift a man got on the bus with a stroller and remarked that someone had left him a noose, which was "perfect for hanging."

"I instantly panicked as I didn't know what the outcome of such outburst was gonna be," reads the post.

Romone said the man then said that he should hang himself at the end of his shift.

"I froze, I literally froze, my heart sank, eyes popped open, Heart was racing and I was sweating profusely ... all while driving across Granville bridge! " he wrote.

Romone described that the bus went quiet and no one onboard said anything, and he was so emotional that it made him "dumbstruck."

The post ends by saying that the man with the stroller exited on Broadway after remarking to Romone, "You must be so happy I'm getting off at the next stop huh?"

'No place on our transit system'

TransLink spokesperson Ben Murphy told CBC News that the post is legitimate and that TransLink is "aware of a deeply concerning incident involving one of our bus operators."

He said that the Coast Mountain Bus Company and Transit Police are investigating the incident, and that there is zero-tolerance for racism on the transit system.

"Racism has absolutely no place on our transit system and should not be tolerated under any circumstance," said Murphy.

The incident comes as the global pandemic, widespread economic instability and repeated police shootings leading to the deaths of Black and Indigenous people across North America have put the spotlight on racism.

With files from Megan Batchelor

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