Student allegedly ejected by racist bus driver

It was cold and rainy last Saturday night while Serena Klumpenhouwer waited for the 2 Dundas bus to pick her up at Alumni Hall. What began as an innocuous commute home turned into an unsettling run-in with what Klumpenhouwer described as a prejudiced driver.

The bus slowed down in front of Alumni Hall on Saturday but did not stop to pick up passengers. Instead, it sped up and drove away. According to Klumpenhouwer, the bus was not full.

Not wanting to miss her ride home, Klumpenhouwer waited for the bus to circle around and caught the same one at the Brescia stop.

Upon boarding the bus, she inquired as to why the driver had missed the waiting passengers at Alumni.

The driver allegedly told Klumpenhouwer that Alumni Hall was not a real stop, and that he was not obligated to stop there. The fourth-year English major was confused, as she had been catching the 2 Dundas there for the past four years.

“But among most students it’s presumed to be a stop,” Klumpenhouwer told the bus driver, whose identity is unknown.

He then allegedly mocked Klumpenhouwer’s speech.

“It’s presumed? I’m sorry, you’re not using that word properly. I can’t understand you,” Klumpenhouwer said the bus driver responded.

According to Klumpenhouwer, the driver continued to mock her English, claiming he couldn’t understand what she was saying and that she was speaking incorrectly. Next, the driver told Klumpenhouwer he felt threatened by her, and told her to sit at the back of the bus.

She obeyed, saying she walked to the back of the bus, sat down, and pulled out her book. However, the English major, who was born and raised in London, Ontario, knew there was no language barrier.

“The idea of black people being threatening is very common,” said Klumpenhouwer, who is black. “If you look foreign, claiming to not understand you is a way of belittling your speech.”

What came next on her ride home was even more shocking. About a block after picking her up, the bus pulled over and the driver got on the phone with the dispatcher.

“I figured the bus broke down or something’s wrong,” Klumpenhouwer said. But then she heard an, “excuse me miss,” from the driver, and realized he was talking to her.

“He said to me, ‘I don’t feel safe with you on this bus, I’m going to ask you to get off,’” Klumpenhouwer said.

She said she disembarked without protest.

“I personally think that because of the colour of my skin and because I am female he executed his power and will in an unethical way,” Klumpenhouwer said.

Klumpenhouwer was left stranded in the rain to wait for what felt like an hour for the next bus.

Klumpenhouwer contacted the police and the LTC to get to the bottom of the incident. She is currently looking for witnesses who were riding the bus at the time.

The LTC confirmed they received a contact regarding an alleged racial discrimination incident on Saturday, January 11.

“We received a contact regarding an alleged racial discrimination incident,” Larry Ducharme, LTC general manager, said. “Did that mean there is an actual occurrence? That is in the process of being investigated. We don’t comment on them [they are] first and foremost subject to our review. We have a protocol for investigating alleged incidences.

He also confirmed that Alumni Hall is in fact a scheduled stop on the 2 Dundas route, and noted “drivers routinely ask passengers to move to the back of the bus” to let more people on.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the LTC at 519-451-1347.

 

Update: This article was updated on Tuesday, January 21. The original version of the article stated “Klumpenhouwer was left stranded in the rain to wait for almost an hour for the next bus,” when what Klumpenhouwer originally said was she waited for what felt like an hour.

Megan Devlin

Megan Devlin

Online Editor
Megan Devlin is the Online Editor for 2014-2015 and was previously a News Editor. She is completing a degree in Media, Information & Technoculture with a second major in Biological Science. You can email her at Megan@WesternGazette.ca
Megan Devlin

Latest posts by Megan Devlin (see all)

  • Jane

    My blind friend was told by an african racist driver that every time someone comes on the bus he is suppose to get off with his cart and get on again, he was the only person standing. No one would offer him a designated seat. The whole time this driver was making in front of my friend but he had no clue I was with him until i got m ad when we were getting off and ripped in to him. Also there is a moselm driver who slams the door in my friend’s face and takes off when he is waiting for that bus, when its -25 out.!

  • Jane

    As stated, they cannot be fired as they are unionized workers. If you stand up to them they could call a transit police and get you thrown from the bus and charged. This is what happens in ottawa!

  • Dianna

    That wasn’t racism is was an angry landlord blackmailing you! You must not know what racism is hunny.

  • no

    No they don’t I know for a FACT they don’t because the 2 bus drivers I know work for the LTC are latino. One of them is under 30

  • no

    I know for a fact that the bus driver was correct about that stop sometimes it is in service and sometimes it is not. There is no PA announcement (and there should be) for this at Western for some reason this is troubling for many of the drivers. Klumpenhouwer is certainly not being entirely honest

  • SR

    Some of the bus driver in London are really acting as racist. I moved to US because of having mistreated too frequently but I have time to time nightmare of being at London, ontario… So sad so bad.

    London, Ontario is one of the worst places (if not the worst) that I have ever been in the world.

  • Jane

    All of Ontario’s big cities are under huge stress due to a global recession and constant waves of new immigrants moving in to add more stress. Some cities in ontario have an unemployment rate of 15% or higher and I know for a fact toronto has the highest in canada. Ontario is now a half not province, so much for diversity strenthens us.

  • Guest

    All govt workers in ontario now has this attitude. They have a job for life with high pay and lots of perks that the rest of us could only dream of in a global recession. Im having issues with a govt office-they take weeks to call u back, lose your file, intimidate you etc and I called a legal aid clinic and THEY also bullied me and stuck up for the big guys so what are people suppose to do.

  • Jane

    Its not like this in the rest of canada.

  • Jane

    In ottawa they stop WHEN THEY FEEL LIKE IT, even at the stations. ..the busiest bus is 97 and 98 and sometimes they FLY by and dont stop and there are 40 people stranded. People call to complain but nothing is done-they are govt workers with jobs for life and the union protects their butts!!Alot of govt workers have this attitude now!

  • Jane

    Yes your right! So what! We also have issues between the younger generation and the older. Im goodlooking for my age and at times when the bus stops at lee station in ottawa (ottawa U)- alot of students get on-mixed races. I had 2 bags of groceries and I was on the bus 5 stops down when it was empty and this moslem student told me to take the bags off the seat so she could sit (shes only like 23), and I said I cant there is no where to put my groceries-one was coffee cream and bread. So guess what she did. She put her white purse ON TOP of my groceries-so I said u may want to remove that because there is cream in there. How rude. And just last week I took the bus from where I work at times- I had a laptop in a bag-I placed in beside me again the bus was empty. I was in the designated seats. The bus got busy and some tourists got on and came over and told me to remove the laptop so she could sit down. Its a wide bag so if i placed it on the floor it would trip people. Then I said I cant- and directed them to sit across from me in the designated seats (4 of them). I know for 100% fact if I was a minority OR a man that would not have happened. I get problems all the time because Im tall and attractive with green eyes, these people were all women.

  • Jane

    This happens alot in ottawa as do racial attacks on drivers (for ex if the bus is late)-and certain races will spit in the face of the driver (lets just say they are not from canada)….

  • Jane

    And all the designated seats were taken at the front but its suppose to be for him being disabled and older-it was filled with 16 yr old minorities and whites.

  • Jane

    That is because its all one culture there-American!

  • Jane

    Well I am out of work 2 years due to the recession but also because of affirmative action programs in ottawa. Also the buses here wont hire me because I am white and only speak english. If I was anything else I could apply though!

  • Jane

    Im white and I had racist indian drivers male and female in ottawa who completely miss the bus stop. I had it happen at least 5 different locations. One was a lady driver so I asked her why dont you stop, she said because you are the only person there! Well this isnt india people, it doesnt matter if there is only ONE person or 100 people- you are suppose to stop!

  • Jane

    The worst racist incident that happened to me, i am a white woman with green eyes and Im tall, I was renting a room in a shared apartment and the person there made stuff up on me because he was mad I would not date him-and the owners are moslem. I was told I had 1 hr to get out and Im not from this city so no family or friends to stay with-and the police were called, I did nothing. The reason was because I turned down this man for a date-but I heard he did this to the previous female roomate as well….so I ended up homeless for a few days..due to a racist moslem landlord who will take a mans word over mine……

  • Jane

    This happens all over ontario! Ottawa has rude drivers too. Im white and my roomate is visually impaired. I got on one day with him and the bus all the seats were taken but my roomate has a cart. The driver was new to canada -from some african nation. He was rude to my roomate. He kept critizing him saying he was in the way, his cart was in the way. Then he said u have to put the cart up on the ledge-this cart had 25 lbs of things in it-my roomate was too sick to lift it so a woman got up and helped him lift it. Then the driver (Im still shocked at this) said everytime someone gets on you (meaning my roomate who is visually impaired and 59 and not that well) will have to get off then get on again. Get this- there were only 4 people standing and we were getting off soon. Then when we were getting off I told the driver off-he was stunned as he did not know I was with my roomate. No one else got involved as they always protect the driver cause he is unionized. Another time my roomate on a cold winter day was told he could not get on the damn bus by a rude moslem bus driver and the bus was not that full. Also my niece moved here and it was her first time on the bus at night and her transfer was 5 mins past the time- (she had lots of money for another ticket)-but when she got on her second bus the driver kicked her OFF the bus and she did not have a clue where she was and was alone. Racism is everywhere people…..

  • Laloloks Cornelius

    I just read this, I was born and raised in London, as well my ppl that being First Nations ppl know all to well of the racism that is here in London Ontario. Sorry u went through this experience here

  • Heather

    Sorry to hear about your incident! That’s the London I know! All I can say is that get out of that city ASAP, I lived there for a number of years and YES, no matter where you go, whoever you are dealing with, banker, school councillor …… They treat foreigners very poorly, my school councillor once told me that college & university were not for me due to my language barrier! Imagine that!

  • MRS SHAKUR

    Hi Serena Klumpenhouwer,
    I just wanted to reach out not only because I sympathize with you, but because I myself have faced a lot of racist treatment in London Ontario as well, as a South Asian. I have also witnessed a bus driver treat a visible minority who was DISABLED in a belittling manner, telling her to “hurry up” and that she was “delaying everyone” – she clearly could not speak English and he belittled that as well. I have also faced it at Western from members of faculty as well as fellow students. This is a very close-minded and backwards city in many ways. It’s especially surprising for me because I am from Toronto where these things would not fly. I’ve noticed that most people here are either very kind or very racist – there seems to be no in between…I’ve been exposed to it so much here that I really feel no use in reporting it or even addressing it any more. I have several times been dismissed as “too sensitive” or else overreacting when comments and actions have definitely been driven by racism alone. I’m sorry that this happened to you, and if I were you I would have taken down as much information as possible. Good luck and good wishes to you. I myself will be moving out of this city for good as soon as I am finished with school.

  • hello

    Anybody who says the race card was being pulled are racist themselves. This is the most common term used to defend racist behaviour by racist people. Stay strong sister and stay proud because you live in one of the most racist cities in Canada, heck I didn’t even face any racism in Mississippi (supposedly the most racist state in America). I lived there for 7 years and the amount of racism I experienced in London is uncomparable.

  • Sebastian Tombs

    LTC is a very racist organization to start with. They only hire older white male drivers or blond female drivers. On their website they claim you need 2000 hours to drive a bus for them but this is only if you do not fit their criteria. (code for white).
    This same criteria is applied in most companies in London Ontario . When was the last time you saw brown or black hydro workers at London Hydro or City Hall workers. What we have here and most places now is Economical Colonialism. (eg they don’t ban you from living near them or joining exclusive clubs but they price you out of them by making sure non whites don’t have any well paying jobs.)
    I’ve lived in London since age 12 almost 40 years and trust me people racism is the only thing I see everyday in this City.

  • Bilal

    The is really disturbing. This could have happened to my me or to my wife or to anyone else. This driver must be stopped. Most LTC drivers are nice people but every once and a while you get one like this. For what ever that it worth, I am sorry for what you have to go through Serena Klumpenhouwer.

  • Michael

    You know how I blame for this situation. I blame Larry Ducharme, LTC general manager. This guy is the man in charge. This guy should resign. This guy comes out in the news and admits the the service he provides sucks. How long has this guy been in charge, he is building a culture of rude drivers.

  • Anna

    Serena Klumpenhouwer,

    I appreciate your reply, and noticing your diction, I can tell you really are a nice person. I also realize that this is probably a very scary thing to do (going out in public and making your story heard) and there is no point in embarrassing yourself if the story wasn’t true. I wasn’t trying to make you seem like a liar or anything. On the contrary, I believe that you firmly think what you’ve mentioned has happened. I simply believe that the bus driver might have also acted this way towards a British, Swedish, Arabic, etc. student as well. The situation did not necessarily have to do with the fact that you’re racially different to him. The actions performed by this bus driver are not by any means acceptable but my point was that it doesn’t necessarily have to be a racial issue.

  • Serena Klumpenhouwer

    Anna,

    Thank you for your contribution too sweetheart. I agree with everything you said. It’s an uncomfortable topic and I completely understand why people are defensive on both sides. I know you don’t know me personally, but I really am a nice person. I wasn’t threatening. He told me to get off because he was humiliated and frustrated.

    The prejudice came in when he was mocking my English and saying I was threatening. He was smirking when he told me to get off. It wasn’t a fair thing. I can understand where you’re coming from, absolutely. We should definitely try to remain neutral until we receive all the facts. I don’t think he’s a raging racist, but he really was wrong in how he executed his behaviour.

    Most bus drivers are really kind and caring. I’ve never had anything like this happen before. Bus drivers ask me to move to the back of the bus all the time, and it’s simply because the bus is really full :)

    This incident was different though. I was really afraid, but I know deep down, telling someone was the right thing to do, even if it makes a lot of people feel uncomfortable. I can’t describe how uncomfortable I was that day, but if anything, I hope that people feel encouraged, and are sensitive one another, including those we disagree with. I understood that comment too. We do need to have all the facts. For instance, I did not wait an hour. I waited 20 minutes. However everything else is right. I know we’re strangers, and you don’t know me, but I hope this helps!

  • Serena Klumpenhouwer

    Thank you Joanne xo

    Some bus drivers are really kind, but then there are just a few bad apples like this one who are bullies and take out their frustrations on other people.

    Thanks for breaking it down like that. Yes, there was one young man that needed to catch the Greyhound. I felt bad for him too.

    Thanks for your encouraging words and for giving me the benefit of the doubt. I usually do that for others too. :)

  • Serena Klumpenhouwer

    Be kind to one another. Let’s use this as a lesson of positivity. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is how incredible our community is. I know what happened was wrong, but when I was afraid my school community, the Gazette, our city and even surrounding areas embraced me and told me that I didn’t deserve what happened.

    We all deserve kindness and respect. The passengers do, and the bus drivers do. And though I’m not typing eloquently, be mindful of the hurt that people experienced. It’s not easy to come forward, especially where prejudice is concerned. It’s the most hurtful of all. I honestly almost decided not to be a teacher. Me sharing that weak point with you shows you that I’m not afraid to show my vulnerability. This isn’t a Rosa Parks thing. She was braver than me. feel bad about it to this day. I’m still scared. I’m shaking right now as I type to faceless responses. It’s hard to face all of you. Ya know, I’m sure he has a family just like we all do. I’m sure he has his good points and I DO believe that he had a bad day and that he is most likely NOT a racist. However I do think he used prejudice associations to belittle me and what he did was wrong. I just hope he says sorry, and never does this to anyone again.

    God bless all of you. Those who’ve decided my character is bad, and those who’ve encouraged me. God Bless you all. You’ve given me the strength to say something. I hope you all have a wonderful blessed year! Let’s stand up for positivity. I’m not letting one bad apple sour me, so you don’t let one bad apple sour your spirits either! Smile when you go on the bus! Smile when you hand someone a transfer! We’re all humans and we all deserve a little love and Kindness :)

  • Serena Klumpenhouwer

    Thank you LTC Operator/Driver Spouse

    You will see that I feel the same way as you. Thank you for not judging me so harshly. And thanks to everyone who was so encouraging. I’m still very scared to ride the bus, but life does go on. I tried to say kind of “hey, this isn’t ok” and with that, you get positive and negative feedback (and neutral I view as positive-> It’s hard to side when you don’t have all the facts and no one knows me personally so I can appreciate that for sure :)

    Thanks for your contribution, because my goodness it is so true what bus drivers have to go through! They’re are many people who truly are threatening and need to be removed. Many of them have pictures up in the office and they aren’t allowed to ride the bus. It scares me too. I can’t imagine how it must upset you when someone treats the person you love badly. My heart goes out to you and your family! :) God Bless!

  • Serena Klumpenhouwer

    mistermic,

    I didn’t even think of that. Thanks for your encouragement. I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to really go all the way and do all of that. I just wanted people to know that this still exists –some of it is proving itself evident in the comments as well, and I wanted him to be held responsible. He’s not a raging racist I don’t think, but I do think that he used his prejudice associations to belittle, bully and punish me without just cause. Thanks for your heart! :)

  • Serena Klumpenhouwer

    Neutrality,

    Here’s your positive response and I liked your comment :) You deserve a positive response haha! There was nothing wrong with what you said. I agree totally! As I said before I waited for 20 minutes, not one hour. The only day one could possibly wait an hour, is waiting on Sunday. I wish that wasn’t written down, but every thing else thankfully is correct.

  • Serena Klumpenhouwer

    Neutrality

    You are absolutely right. I NEVER said I waited for an hour. I waited 20 minutes. That was an exaggeration that was out of my hands unfortunately. And as that is a legitimately hyperbolized, it actually diminishes the legitimacy of the story which is unfortunate.

  • Serena Klumpenhouwer

    Thank you Tanya! :)

    Most bus drivers are really kind, but he was just a not nice one. It’s not fair that good ones are reflected so poorly by this. That isn’t my intention at all. We all deserve respect, bus drivers too!!

  • Serena Klumpenhouwer

    John

    About your assumption of black women’s behaviour, I wish I could meet you and introduce you to my friends. I know the kind of people you are addressing. It’s a falsified association with black women that has been illustrated in the media. I’m not sure if you had a bad experience with a black woman, but all I can do is encourage you to view black women as individuals.

    Had a white woman made a complaint, would you associate her behaviour with her race? My name is Serena Klumpenhouwer. I am not a “black mean person” Actually black people are individuals just like white people are. Some of us are mean or hostile, some of us are gentle and inviting. We are just people, just like you. I do resent that you’ve allowed your prejudice assumptions to characterize me and throw me into a group before even meeting me. If a white serial killer slaughters 12 kindergarteners, I don’t say “Why do white people always do that?” I say “What a disgusting awful individual!!” Do you see the difference? Everyone is different.

    I hope you are encouraged by this and that you don’t feel like I’ve been mean to you. That is certainly not my intention. I just want to show you another side of the coin. Remember black people are made of individuals, different minds, different spirits, different hearts, just like you! :)

  • Serena Klumpenhouwer

    Alisha!!

    Thank you SOO much for verifying who I am :D I can’t thank you enough for how encouraging and supportive you’ve been! Thank you for being such a strong voice in this! I think it’s important that people know that you are a white individual. I say that because if I was white, it would be so hard for me to hear about prejudices because it feels like it’s generalized so easily. What I mean to say is that I understand why people are defensive. Thank you for your genuine heart! And thank you for your articulated response. You’re support means so much!! Thank you!

  • Serena Klumpenhouwer

    Oh yes and I will say I NEVER stated I had to wait for an hour. I waited precisely 20 minutes for the next bus and that is it :)

  • Serena Klumpenhouwer

    Ashley

    Your comment surprises me the most. As women, black white purple or blue, we have a connection because we are often discriminated against. I assure you I wasn’t being rude, however, being assertive and KNOWING what you’re talking about isn’t being a “bitch”. Don’t let anyone tell you that. The manager of LTC verified that I was correct and he made the error of not stopping at the stop. He knew he had made an error, but rather than simply apologizing and verifying that I have the correct information, he proceeded to belittle my English and mock me in front of my peers. Had I been a man, I doubt he would have belittled me in this way. Had I been a different ethnicity, he wouldn’t have assumed that I was unable to speak English properly. He bullied me because he could. When he asked me to exit the bus, he had a look of satisfaction on his face, not fear or intimidation. I didn’t even raise my voice. It wasn’t right.

    I was afraid to say anything about it. But black white purple or blue, no one deserves to feel belittled like that. I hope that you feel encouraged reading this. You have a voice! Use it to promote positivity! I have no idea your age, race, or religion, but from one woman to another, I wish you the best of luck in all your endeavours! :)

  • Serena Klumpenhouwer

    Lou Skunt,

    Please read my comment. Yes I do appreciate your view point. When people hear “racist” they often blindly jump the gun. It’s always good to get all the facts first before making an informed opinion. I was not being rude, and even if I was, I did not deserve to be mocked, humiliated and asked to exit the bus. I hope that you execute compassion when you read this things. I was actually very scared. I wish I could meet you face to face because I think you would see that I’m not a disrespectful arrogant person. I’m actually well known around my school community for community service and speeches about empowering each other and trying our best to be leaders in our society. As Tanya said, EVERYONE (INCLUDING BUS DRIVERS) deserves respect :) If anything, I hope that this article encourages more respect towards one another.

  • Serena Klumpenhouwer

    Hello Everyone,
    Firstly, I must say that this is NOT an attack on LTC. I have been a frequent passenger on the bus since I was 11 years old and I know tonnes of wonderful bus drivers. Also I was the one who accidently “liked” busdriver’s post with the intent to respond to him. I believe that being a bus driver is not an easy job. They truly do have to put up with real threatening people who have nothing better to do but to make other people feel bad. This was not the case with me. I’m actually a really nice girl who smiles all the time :) In fact some of you have probably seen me as I’m often the only one who says “thank you”, or “have a great day” to the bus drivers. That evening, I was inquiring about where I was supposed to wait for the bus. I was definitely frustrated as I had missed it, and that will show on the tape, but I told the bus driver that I could be misinformed and I’m simply looking for the correct information.

    The videotape will verify my obedience to him and my non threatening behaviour.

    For arguments sake, Let’s assume that I was actually threatening, warranting dismissal from the bus. Would it not make more sense to keep me towards the FRONT of the bus for the safety of the other passengers? He specifically asked me to got to the back. (Now, busdrivers request this all the time at the University because it’s often really crowded. As a fourth year student, I’ve had bus drivers tell me to move to the back of the bus over a hundred times and not complained. I’m not here to take things out of context) However, if he was legitimately threatened by me and had grounds to remove me after HE was belittling and rude, he wouldn’t have sent me to the back of the bus as that would endanger the passengers.

    What’s MISSING in the article is that after he said he feels harassed and threatened by me, the students began to roll their eyes because they knew he was most likely frustrated from a long day and he was using his prejudice associations to mock my English and label me as “threatening” when I clearly wasn’t. When he was a bit embarrassed by their reaction, he turned around and said “Ya know what?” and preceded to call the dispatcher. When he asked me to leave, he had a smirk on his face od satisfaction that he could execute his power and will without just cause, simply because he could. Would I Serena, label him as a raging racist, absolutely not. Would I say that he probably had a bad day, was annoyed by my questions and used his prejudice associations to unethically distribute his power? ABSOLUTELY YES. One can not forcibly detain, mock, ridicule, and stop and individual from continuing onto their destination because they had a “bad day” That is not just cause.

    As I say, my heart goes out to bus drivers and what they have to go through, which is why I smile and say thank you almost every time I board or exit. I was born and raised in London Ontario to a mother who doesn’t drive, so London Transit has been my PRIMARY mode of transportation for years. I know how to conduct myself with the bus drivers as many of you watched me grow up! :) I have stated many times that this is not a reflection on LTC, but that there is one bad apple in a bushel of good ones!

    I do want to bring awareness to prejudice though. It is the absolute last card I play, but it exists. I don’t use prejudice and racist interchangeably. Racists are less prevalent than those who have prejudices. I’m talking about the assumptions one makes when they see someone of a different ethnicity, or religion, socio economic status, or sexual orientation. In some ways, I think we all possess a level of prejudice in one way or another, which is why I refuse to label this bus driver a racist. However, it is absolutely unacceptable for someone to impose their will, or unjustly prosecute someone based on prejudice motivations. I was forced to take him mocking my English in front of the passengers, walk in front of my colleagues–being kicked off the bus, embarrassed and humiliated, wait outside in the rain at night for another bus after having done nothing wrong, and I believe that he needs to be held responsible for that.

    Can I be transparent with you? I was very scared to speak up about this. I haven’t experienced prejudice to this degree in my life, so I wasn’t sure what to do. My initial feelings were sadness. I stood there crying in the rain. I then felt like I want to give up on grad school because I was reminded of how people view black people, and I figured after teacher’s college I probably won’t even get a job. I mean. how many black teachers are there in London? I started doubting myself, and I felt ashamed and belittled. I then became scared to board the next bus because I thought that LTC would view me as a criminal and ban me from riding. I was so afraid that I had no way home.

    It was after talking with friends, that I made a complaint. I also called the police, and they empowered me as well. After speaking with people who have to use reason and sound judgement all the time, I realized that I had no reason to feel scared, or ashamed, and it was time to speak up for what’s right. I’m not scared anymore. And I hope that no one ever has to experience what I did.

  • busdriver

    If the complaint is valid, video and audio evidence will prove this young ladies complaint. I would like to add that students waiting inside Alumni Hall will get passed. If a bus slows and you are still not out of the building we will pass by you without a second look. And the argument it’s cold outside does not hold water, because the extra time you cause the bus to be delayed means that everyone else down the line waiting outside in the cold have to wait longer, and the folks who miss their transfers have to wait longer. And please remember when you see a driver who seems to be behaving a certain way to a passenger, we have long histories with some of our riders, histories you know nothing about. Albeit, I have had bad moments on the bus, I tend to talk with my passengers and try hard to explain to them why it is so important to be ready at the bus stop, how an extra minute means a missed light which then becomes 5 minutes, which then changes everything. It is a struggle to keep buses even near scheduled times. As for passing passengers who may be running, there are many more factors to this than you might think. A passenger running towards a bus stop after the bus has begun to move does not allow enough time to signal and warn traffic of an unexpected stop. A bus driver that sees their clock is way behind, and knows the next bus is within minutes continues, to be fair if my bus is 10 minutes down and you are not at a stop you did not want my bus anyways. And a bus that has begun to signal their intent to pull out is required by law to keep moving. We are here for the people yes, but in all fairness I cannot accommodate each individual persons schedule, you must be responsible for yourself and be at the bus stop. And these wonderful apps to help you wait less outside and longer inside. Folks, I will not stop for you when you come running out of your house waving your arms. sorry. If I have an a fault accident, my insurance rates go up the same as yours, I pay for the lawyer, in other words what happens safety wise on and with that bus falls under my responsibility, not LTC.

  • LTC Operator/Driver Spouse

    Although the LTC drivers all have their own personality, not ALL drivers are reflected as this driver. My spouse is one of the drivers at the University, with many loads filled to capacity. Many students are respectible, many are not. There is a balance with the attitudes at both sides drivers and passengers. No one driver/passenger deserves disrespect! Nor does my spouse deserve to be catagorized, when in fact students have the odosity to spit my spouse in the face because of their behaviour! Here again, we can not place Serena Klompenhouwer in the category of some of the students who disrespect drivers by spitting in their face! Many students/passengers like my spouse as a driver, yet gets mistreated as well!
    Everyone needs resect!

  • tab

    Considering ltc has video/audio survalence then they should look into that to prove the driver was being ignorant.

  • Abe

    Some of these bus drivers are ignorant and should not be driving for public transit.its not the first time they don’t stop and pretend they didn’t see anyone

  • AJ

    Is anyone surprised? The LTC has increased the cost of riding the bus and then filled the buses with horrible bus drivers who speed and are rude to the riders. They alone decide who rides and who doesn’t, they speed past bus stops so they can take longer breaks st long stops. These are only a few of the problems that plague the LTC. After calls and e-mails and other correspondence, I get a dear john letter stating that they have received my mail. Nothing is done, these drivers are told that there was a complaint… what they need is a pay cut. Maybe we need a new bus system.

  • Jena

    A lot of bus drivers that I have encountered have exceedingly foul attitudes. I would think that if you were going to have such a public job, interacting with hundreds, even thousands a day, you should know how to behave. You should know that you don’t take out your frustration on paying customers, and you should know that you are not on a higher plateau because you are behind the wheel.

    I’ve personally had many experiences with yelling, irate drivers who are clearly agitated about something and then take it out on passengers who, lets say, stand at a wrong spot or inquire about which stop they are looking to get off on. I’ve even ran for a bus to try and catch it as it was driving up, and the ignorant asshole looked and waved at me as he was driving by.

    There isn’t an excuse for this kind of behaviour, just stop hiring pricks. Or, if you are going to hire just anybody, have them take a class on how to not be a prick.

  • Alisha Findlay

    I know Serena first hand. I grew up with her. She does not fall into alot of people’s bias of being a “bitch” like and i quote “most” western students are (as said by commenters). Serena is a soft spoken, well mannered individual, who had the right to ask the bus driver why he didn’t stop at the one stop she was initially standing at.

    As for being intimidating. Serena is far from intimidating. She has a contagious smile, and good nature about her. She has earned everything she has, and is doing in her life. She is a very religious beautiful soul, that gives people the benefit of the doubt. That does not mean she should be walked all over like a door mat. All she did was ask the bus driver a question, he had no right to mock her or her speech. She is highly educated and has an extensive vocabulary, and speaks perfect English.

    As for the time frame. Being kicked off a bus and having to wait for the next one, It may have felt like an hour for her, even if it was not. For someone who is not confrontational at all, to be bullied by a bus driver when all you did was ask a question, get mocked, go sit down quietly, and then get kicked off the bus for being “intimidating” she was probably very shaken up. Give the woman a break. What is she had to wait for the 2A not just any 2 going by? It would be a bit more for a wait wouldn’t it? Indeed.

    I hope someone steps up for this young lady, because she deserves better than this. Anybody being treated like that deserves better, and I don’t care what job you have, you are not entitled to belittle anybody, no matter race, religion, sexual preference etc.

  • Leah

    A lot of you people commenting on this are so stupid.. My goodness. To that person saying black women always behave “like this: fuck does that mean?

  • Jawa

    Privileges that blind!

    Think of one minute in the shoes of this woman. Before getting charged to respond to her story, reflect on what it means to be discriminated against, unless you are too privileged that it blinds you from the sufferings of others.

    what has the woman to gain by this experience except to make known what many ignore or fear to report.
    Young woman, keep up exposing injustices. Someday, even the walls will hear and respond appropriately.

  • Amy

    This girl is the most soft spoken polite lady I have met.

  • Bob Roberts

    Perhaps you commenters should learn proper English. And this a university rag… Shameful.

  • Steph

    Most of the comments on this article appear to be written by biased and/or uneducated readers. I believe that although Klumpenhouver was harassed upon and ejected from said public transit bus, it was not racially discriminative. Of all of the points stated, the bus driver did not make any comments that could be specifically discriminative based on race or gender. As common sense suggests, generally most people are not rude/inappropriate to other individuals, especially without valid reason. If there existed a full recording of this conversation, it could reveal its true contents, but as this does not exist, one’s opinion must be formed from the information reported (however accurately) within this article, which does not specifically imply and race or gender discriminate information.

  • John

    just an observation but why do black people (esp black women) always behave like this , in a rude aggressive way and then pull out the race card to save them

  • Neutrality

    I want to bring up an inconsistency.

    The bus stop at which she was asked to get off was Western and Platts Lane, and the time frame for when she was 7:30-8:30.

    If you are a regular taker of the 2 Dundas, then you know that at the Platts Lane stop, the bus comes much more frequently than once nearly every hour.

    Additionally, a large amount of students get off the bus at the two stops in between Platts and Sarnia because of the on-campus residences there, so it is unlikely that the buses were full and had no room to pick her up from that stop.

    Therefore, I find it odd that she had to wait nearly an hour for the next bus. I bring this up because while I don’t think she is intentionally fabricating anything in her side of the story, we need to keep in mind that our perception of others is affected by many factors, including our emotional state. In fact, even your memories can be inconsistent and distorted (http://www.spring.org.uk/2008/02/how-memories-are-distorted-and-invented.php).

    I am not expecting a positive response to my own, given the righteous fury over what may have happened. But please, stay neutral, at least until both sides have been heard.

  • mistermic

    I’ve read all the comments posted and there doesn’t seem to be anything unexpected here. People taking sides once hearing half of the story and the defenders of due process suggesting we get the other half. I think it is sad that this scenario can happen in 2014 in London Ontario regardless of what actually happened. I hope witnesses come forward and a thorough investigation takes place. If discrimination and racism are found to have taken place on a balance of probabilities, I hope Ms. Klumpenhouwer will contact the Human Rights Legal Support Centre or her local Legal Clinic for assistance in filing a claim with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.

  • nessy

    I sympatize with this womens storey….because Ive had douchebag bus drivers and yes their in the public eye BUT think of how many douchebag busriders they probably see in a day in an hr…I am bias because my father is a bus driver and I know how hard it would be to be a bus driver…yes they get paid well but they have to deal with a lot of bullshit such as bitchy college/uni students verbal and physical abuse…they have the right to kick someone off their bus mind you im sure this was a little excessive …busdriver actually have one of the highest suicide rates because of the stress their under each day….I dont doubt that he probably was a bit of an ass but like someone else said shes a western student chances are she was being a bitch most of them are…and I would be interested to see his side of the storey because really if it was a racial issue why is he a busdriver????

  • Ashley

    I highly doubt this, and even if it did happen it likely wasn’t her race. It was probably her attitude. Most college students these days are ignorant little snot rags. She was probably being a little bitch, and the driver didn’t feel like dealing with another annoying entitled student. I can’t stand most people between the ages of 18 to 24.

  • sue

    They say there is cameras with audio on the buses whats taking so long to view them

  • Diane

    It is London, Ontario….. and racism is alive and well in London, Ontario. Any racism is disturbing and threatening. Seen it first hand.

  • jucifer

    lndn bus drivers r f’d. i woulda bucked out dat driver doe still. these n’s they they command the reigns of white stallion driven gold guilded chariots for the high chancellors of Rome? na Im just tryin to get to work on time dawg. we must rise up

  • Anna

    Sorry that was meant to say: Those of us who are reading this and are getting insanely defensive on Klumpenhouwer’s account are clearly already biased to the situation since we* are reading this article from her perspective.

  • http://facebook krista

    Like I thought people took the whole Rosa Parks thing into consideration, she started the whole not being discriminatory against black and white people thing, and then that’s when Martin Luther King Jr. put it into motion!!!

  • Anna

    To Enhtie Nilnoc, I think you need to calm down. Clearly, Lou is simply saying that people sometimes lie and instead of immediately believing a story, people should come to look at the facts of the story first. Like John said, there would be many possibilities in which the actions were justified on either accounts of the individuals involved.

    Obviously, if, and I repeat IF, this actually was a circumstance due to racism then it saddens me to hear about it but the fact of the matter is, we don’t know the whole story. Those of us who are reading this and getting insanely defensive on Klumpenhouwer’s account are clearly already biased to the situation since they are reading this article from her perspective. I agree with Lou that before we all take out the torches and pitch forks, we need to know the whole story. There is a reason the bus driver was not automatically fired but instead is under investigation.

  • enhtie nilnoc

    In answer to Lou Skunt,I am not sure how you pronounce your name I am assuming it is with a silent S. You Say that she abused him( the driver) from what I read ,there did not seem to be any abuse, verbal or non.You say you do not act like a stuck up prick and I am sure you do not,I am sure you are a fine upstanding citizen,how ever I am also sure that all the people,myself included would love to meet you and give you a SLAP UPSIDE THE HEAD!!!!!

  • John Smith

    I’m with Lou on this one. Lets wait for the opposition to make their rebuttal and for evidence. As a society, if we immediately jump on one side of the case without clear proof, then I might as well go to the government and claim I’m the prime minister then demand a 50% tax hike, all proceedings going to me. Buuuttt thats not going to happen as there’s clear evidence that Steven Harper, not Mr. John Smith, is the prime minister.

    If the case holds true as Serena has described, then its a damn shame that there are still people out there that are like this. Bigoted and racist.

    BUT to prevent the bus driver losing his job/being attacked by an angry mob over an accusation that could be false, we have to remember that there are other people out there that make up facts and stories.

    OR MAYBE this incident DID happen. But the bus driver didn’t feel threatened/belittled Ms. Klumpenhouwer due to her race, but rather there was an external event that took place. MAYBE Serena had met this driver previously and had another bad encounter with them which lead up to this incident.

    All in all, we shouldn’t jump at the bus driver until the rest of the story comes out.

  • Lou Skunt

    All i’m saying is wait until all the facts are out before you lynch the poor bastard. That would not be very tolerant of you, would it?

  • Tom

    Hey Lou Skunt,,, or is that SKUNK,,,you are pathetic, and your response has to be clicked on to be read,,,it isn’t even good enough to be left open,,,YOU LOU are pathetic with a response like that,,, YOU must be a LTC driver,,,

  • Joanne

    well to Lou Skunt
    guess you have a stick up your butt!

    why not go for the full she was a woman!
    so strike two for her right ?
    strike three was that she spoke for a wrong done!
    not just to her but other students
    So guess you are angry she was a black woman that spoke up for herself !!

    Now how I really feel
    — She was black she was a woman and she spoke her mind
    – She did what she was told .
    — the bus driver needs a new job
    out of the public eye
    the LTC need to train their drivers better
    Am I saying these from one incident no..
    I listen to the complaints about the LTC all the time..
    They always protect their drivers and not the paying costumer ..
    Yes there are two sides to a story .. but regardless
    She was a student it was raining it was dark ..
    She should not have left the bus — I wouldn’t of .
    I would of used my cell and called the police right then and there .
    But then I do not ride the bus — why?
    Seen too many bad bus drivers!

  • donna

    Lou Skunt just cause your the lucky one doesn’t mean everyone is so lucky. yes your right too side’s to every story but I can tell you I ride the bus every day 6 DAY a week we have some awesome nice sweet drivers and then we have the rude ignorant self righteous ones that think we owe them something. if it wasn”t for us they would have no jobs. does not mean people have the right to be rude but London transit is not for the travellers they are for them selfs always and last time I checked freedom of speech many. I for one pay $81.00 a month for my pass and will ask the drive questions cause its not my fault he/she does not want to do there route they take buses off no notice to bad for you wait another 30 mins and if its a Sunday you can wait 1 hour. we live in a city that is expanding everyday and we still run bus services like we live in bedrock. so if I pay I’m asking why they cant do there job if I don’t do my job I’m sure my boss would be all over me. good for her for asking and maybe once and for all a driver take responsibility for there actions

  • John Doe

    I’ve seen an episode of this a few years ago when a black man and his very young daughter rushed up to the bus before it was going to go. The bus had to stop – too much traffic to turn, it couldn’t turn, and the driver could have opened the door to let them in. Instead he didn’t open the door in spite of the man politely asking at first, waiting for a moment, then knocking on the window, and then the bus sped off.

    Probably the same bus driver did this recent episode.

  • Melissa

    Even if we left out the race part, what about all the other, just plain shitty stunts the bus drivers pull??? Their like rent-a-cops lol They seem to think their LTC coat is a dam super hero suit lol
    I witnessed a bus driver close the doors n puposely leave a man than commented that it was his fault- how?? So I spoke up, and asked how?, he had nothing to say. It’s like customer service, you deal with people- so if your not going to be pleasant, find another job. No other service sector can get away with just being plain nasty and rude. So why can they?
    I will also say that this goes for some, not all bus drivers.

  • Mel

    Lou is wrong!!!!
    i rode the bus for years as a student and if a driver passes his stop for no reason maybe he should get a new job where he doesn’t have to deal with the public. And of course she was upset its pouring and she wants to get home.
    I think he should be fined .

  • Lou Skunt

    I don’t know why she had to grill the bus driver after she got on. She was probably irritate and furious and so the bus driver honestly felt threatened. Nobody deserves to be subjected to any kind of abuse at work. I never had any trouble with bus drivers ever, and it is not because i’m white, but because I don’t act like a stuck up prick who thinks bus drivers owe them something.
    get on the bus and shut up. then you won’t have any trouble. for the rest of you oh-so- tolerant and open-mined people: why don’t you wait until the other side of the story comes out before blindly believing one person????

  • Tanya

    I’m glad this lady spoke up. Black or not, these bus drivers get paid enough to perhaps we should enroll them in some sort of professionalism classes! Unexceptable behaviour and it should be address! Not the first time that a bus driver demonstrates how pathetic some drivers can be! Gives the good ones, a bad reputation!!!

  • BlackMonalisa

    @Former LTC Driver. I was under the impression that cameras on the buses don’t actually have audio.
    I had called once last spring in regards to my son (who is bi-racial) being threatened by a strange man (was threatening to eat his face).
    Thankfully it was other riders that came to his aid and helped him out.
    We called the LTC Office and they gave the impression that they wouldn’t be able to pull audio.

  • willy

    Driver will get a slap on the wrist, and the service of the LTC will continue to decline, for this reason alone I choose to drive every where, and will continue to

  • Will

    Those drivers tend to skip past Alumni Hall just to screw around with students for various reasons. I saw one just drive past a line of students just last Friday night.

    He probably thought she was calling him out on it and went in for a cheap, racial shot to shut the conversation down, then preceded to act like a child and have her get off the bus.

    Seriously, it’s idiots like him that give the other drivers a bad image.

  • Mimi N

    I’m glad she spoke up about this. Also I hope this matter is dealt properly and publicly, to inform and educate others…..

  • 1 thing… If this is complety bull… Why would she go out of her way to report this. If the man was right the man was right, theirs no need to go through all this crap for nothing. LTC need to step up seriously. During the summer I was told I had to close up my child stroller,with the car seat and hold my shit with my baby in my hands.. Like really? He told me that was the rules

  • beth doxtator

    I am Native and my children are mixed their father is Jamaican and we know how rude people can be

    one day we where on the bus sitting in the front of the bus we meaning me and kids and dad an older lady gets on the bus empty seat next to my children father and he say u may sit here miss she looked at him like he dumb and choose to stand up and everyone seen that it was hard for her to stand with her walker . so he got up and did not say nothing because it was said in silents that she did not want to sit next to him.
    the bus driver point blank if they don’t like their job then get ur asses of that seat and find something u do like untell then clean your buses lol

  • Rachelle Klumpenhower

    Ms. Klumpenhouwer is far from pulling the resist card as the rest of her family is white. Her mother was adopted into the family and we all love her very much as well as Serena. Serena is well mannered and very respectfully. This is discusting that this sort of thing is still happening in today’s society. That bus driver should be relieved of his duties.

  • kyle

    this article does not surprise me at all, the bus drivers (for the most part) are pretty bad, they enjoy driving by, and love driving away when your running for the bus, i guess they think cause another bus is coming its not their problem. But i will say i have been at UWO for a total of 7 years and things are getting much worse not better. My favourite part is how much different the drivers treat. “londoners” vs the ‘students’ apparently we are not worth their time.

  • Elizabeth

    While I’m not shocked by the commments about ‘race card’ bring thrown out it’s still just sad to see. Racisim is not always violent, it can be subtle and it can be covert, nevertheless just as hurtful. Being at this school for five years racism has come at me from students, profs and even our precious. I learnt a long time ago reporting it goes nowhere. For those of you have not and never will experience racism please stop trying to undermine or dismiss this incident. But of course we always have to prove that someone is being racist rather than being shown any support

  • Mary Ann Varkaris

    If the bus normally stops at Alumni Hall when it shouldn’t, then a stop needs to be added; otherwise, drivers shouldn’t set a precedent that people come to rely on, because it’s too cold at this time of year to miss your bus due to arbitrary routines established by drivers with different sensibilities. Decide where the buck, I mean bus, stops, then treat all your passengers fairly. This includes answering honest questions with a modicum of politeness. i.e. unless he has a good defense, he’s a dumbass. I teach adult ESL and the stories I hear from newcomers are shocking.

  • Just Saying…

    From what I’ve read, some comments are quick to highlight the fact that the driver’s side of the issue hasn’t been brought forward yet. However, regardless of that, if and when evidence is released, we will know the truth, but for now, it’s a very simple story to understand.

    Ms. Klumpenhouwer got into the bus at what she believed to be a stop and was told by the driver that he had no obligation to stop for her; a statement which then leads her to clarify her position. It could have ended there had the driver not mocked her speech and proceeded to have her ejected from the bus.

    The fact that he asked her to move to the back of the bus doesn’t matter very much, and even if it did, she obeyed the driver’s instruction without complaint or resistance. the reason why he’s been called a racist (even if that may not be the appropriate term to describe him) stems mainly from his mockery of her speech, and the implication drawn from him claiming that he felt threatened by her.

    I’m black, and admit that sometimes I and others have played the race card both frequently… though often for the sake of humour rather than a serious accusation. That doesn’t mean that anyone who knows that Ms. Klumpenhouwer does the same sometimes can assume this case applies in the same manner.

  • Val

    THE GAZETTE IS AN ALLEGED RAG. What a joke.

    So are all of the people who got upset over this “alleged” story.

    Use your own minds, people.

  • londontransitt

    Give me a break. This is an extremely 1 sided story, yet everybody already has their “expert” opinion. She more than likely did something to warrant getting kicked off, and is just being a crybaby about it.

  • Bill

    I was on the phone with a parent at the time of the incident. While I can’t recall the finer details of their conversation, I vividly remember the bus driver’s tone, especially when he told her to move to the back, and later to get off. It was agitated, not mocking. That is all I can say about this situation.

  • Frank

    Funny how every negative encounter that people have must be race related

  • Mica

    Obviously, this is unacceptable and as students, it’s important to be in solidarity with a fellow student and ensure nothing like this happens again. Thank you, Gazette for reporting on this. I should add: Anyone who has left a comment on this thread that shows support for the racist bus driver or spews racist, white, privileged ideals: Go f yourself.

  • C

    This story does not surprise me at all. Some LTC Drivers are really awful. I have had multiple encounters with different drivers who were sarcastic, demeaning, or just plain rude.

    Without students, LTC would barely sustain itself. Please… we pay your wages.

  • Geoff

    If the driver acted the way it’s laid out in this article he will for sure be reprimanded (Buses have cameras) So everyone just calm down and stop painting every bus driver as the LTC and everything that is wrong with the bus system……Is it not ironic that the article is about prejudice and people on here are calling bus drivers names and belittling what they do and most importantly claiming they all act the same way ? If the driver acted in a racist manner he will be punished but if this turned out to be a bs claim this women should be punished as she is belittling real cases of racism……..

  • Melissa

    Anyone that thinks this has nothing to do with race is probably white. They seem to think it doesn’t exist, and why would they? They’re not the ones that are targeted and experience this sometimes on a daily basis. Try a day out in my brown skin, which I couldn’t be more proud to wear! and tell me it’s not about race. I was riding a 6 Richmond one morning a few years ago n I flat out heard the driver make a racist comment to another driver about native people. I am native american, but often mistaken for being spanish. A few weeks ago I got on a 7 Wavell n the look the female bus driver stared at me with was utter disgust. My appearance was neat, hair fixed, clean clothes, a lil make up. I began to think I had something on my face or put the wrong amount of change in, although that wasn’t possible. It finally got to the point where I said “What?” And she nonchalantly replied “nothing” without even flinching at the fact that I just snapped at her because she KNEW that the way she was staring at me was not because of an issue that I had, but rather an issue that she HAS! No one can tell me that racism is not alive and well.
    These stories only account for a couple bus rides, they do not include day to day life.

  • @Yawkstar

    Blacks are seen as more intimidating point blank period this is just another example. We must be more careful of our image in society and conduct ourselves and comport ourselves more so. Lest we forget that the dominant society doesn’t fully understand us. As a result they will perceive small amounts of attitude or push back as large amounts of aggression they will then feel threatened and act accordingly so. I know Serena and shes a nice girl period. From hearing this story I know that she wasn’t acting threatening enough to be kicked off the bus. I grew up in this city and I’ve seen many bus drivers and know they go through bad days as well and there are many great drivers. This behavior though is inexcusable and the driver needs to be reprimanded. The Gazette has a duty to report and it has done so. Good job in drawing light to areas that need attention.

  • J. Goblikon

    An LTC driver was rude, racist, and/or bad at their job. In other news, the sun rose this morning, and is expected to set this evening. More at 11.

  • Just Another Commenter

    Well, there’s always two sides to the story. I get that people do play the “race” and “gender” card often, which is why I’d like to see and hear the audio/video footage.

    In reply to Gypsy-2A: Racism is something that still occurs everywhere, even in 2014…it has just become more subtle than before (aversive racism, to be exact).

  • john

    LTC bus drivers need to be disciplined
    The drivers are not protected in a cabin like in UK.
    It is really easy for me to knock a driver out and walk away.
    they should know better than acting like butt holes

  • child of Ltc driver

    to all of you people above commenting on how horrible the LTC bus driver are i want you to know that my mom drives for the city and the ahit she has to put up with from passengers is worse than a driver being grumpy. being spit on, called a b*tch or c*unt for being late even though she just had to load and unload 4 wheel chairs. how would you like it if drunk men came up to you at your place of work and touched you innappropriatly or others throwing up and leaving dirty needles on your bus….not cool. all the busses have cameras and record sound so if this driver in question did make any racist remarks he was caught on camera and will be punished. So next time you get on the bus take a second to get off your cell phone and be polite and say hello then see how much nicer your driver will be.

  • Eddie

    Why is there a number for contact the LTC, there should be some sort of information to contact this poor girl who was subject to this form of behavior in the year 2014 to put together a class action law suit against this driver PERSONALLY and who he works for….THIS NEEDS TO STOP

  • Gypsy-2A

    Just another case of a minority didn’t get her way, and claiming the race card. I drive a bus and told a black lady once to go to the back and stop bothering me, it had nothing to do with her color, nothing at all. But damn did she pull that race crap on me hard. This is 2014, Racism ended hundreds of years ago… Get over it and move on

  • Will

    I don’t see how this bus driver is a racist or prejudice in any way. Why does this have to be about race or gender?

    If this account of the story is true the bus driver acted like a complete dick. He should be reprimanded, but not labelled a racist. Ms. Klumpenhouwer got on the bus and brought his job performance into question. I think it’s safe to say the bus driver would be annoyed by this regardless of the students race or gender.

    This being said who is to say Ms. Klumpenhouwer’s account of the story is 100% factual. This is terrible journalism on the part of the Gazette, and I’m surprised this story was published. I’m not calling Ms. Klumpenhouwer a liar, but I believe both sides of the story should be heard before a student newspaper starts labelling integral members of the community as racists.

  • Zach

    I truly hope that Larry Ducharme isn’t trying to sweep this under the rug. Serena clearly stated that the bus wasn’t even close to being full—not to mention the driver mocked her. I wouldn’t be surprised if the city fails to address this incident. According to most Londoners, racism is a thing of the past. It couldn’t possibly exist in the 21st century. If I were Serena, I would contact the OHRC.

  • Joe

    Jeez, people need to learn to wait until a witness comes forward before they form their opinions. Surely, she was not the only person on the bus and was likely not the only person with skin that isn’t white. You’d think there would be multiple people reporting it right when it happened, if the discrimination it was as obvious as this girl reports…

    I just have a hard time believing the bus driver chose that random day to randomly lash out at the black population and basically re-enact a scene from a movie set in the 1970s.

  • juan

    fire his f ass!

  • alex

    i take the bus to school and some drivers are nice … but some are just pieces of shit that need to be fired. bus system sucks everything about the city sucks when u look carefully

  • D

    I happen to know the person thus article revolves around and she tends to use the racism card quite a bit. It’s unfortunate and I’ve witnessed plenty of attitude from LTC drivers but I’m unsure of the amount of truth in her allegations.

  • Michelle

    This is unacceptable but I feel as if it happens so often; this driver needs to sanctioned.

  • Kelly

    Witnesses aren’t really needed are they? After all, they do have cameras on the bus that pick up video and sound. Shouldn’t be too difficult to go back over the footage to the alleged time and get to the truth of what happened.

  • jim

    Fuck that bus driiveer! fire his ass.its 2014 this is nonsensee.

  • Corey

    Looks like a race card being pulled to me.

  • Camden

    Welcome to London , Ontario

    People in this city are to weak and closed minded to even stand up for other people.

  • Brady

    Even if I were to give the driver the benefit of the doubt, I would still consider the LTC the worst part about living in London.

  • Eileen

    Fire his ass,
    really

  • Melanie

    When the driver tells you to go to the back of the bus he means anywhere behind him. This is something I have heard often. What else bothers me is that why is it that all other races other than Caucasians scream racism when something does not go there way.

    I was in another city using their transit and was treat just as equally rude by a Black Woman Driver and again the same way by a White Woman Driver…so really colour means nothing. Maybe you should take note that Saturday and Sundays have different scheduled hours than Mon-Fri.

    I am not sticking up for the driver if he did this then by all means punish him but as citizens we have to remember that they have to deal with way more than us on a daily basis by some really ignorant people.

    I am just tired of the “I am a woman I am of a different culture, ethnic background it because of the colour of my skin” references. Its people like you who make it worse than it needs to be. If someone is like that to you STAND UP and say something to them. Just like being fat I hear the rudest comments ALL THE TIME.

  • Cedric

    They’re not worth $27/hr at the max, if I were in charge, I’d outsource all their jobs.

  • Hello

    Thats london For ya ! Grew up in London and went through crazy amounts of racism growing up. From elementary to highschool. I remember numerous times when the buses would drive by me as I was the only one waiting in the bus stop. Or being rejected to enter the bus. Even worse being called a nigger by a bus driver. Or just walking down the street and being called nigger by passing cars. London does have a 1950s era feel to it and its been like that since forever. Moving away from London has been the best decision I ever made in my life, I havent been subjected to racism and abuse in all of the cities Ive lived outside of London. London really needs to address this issue because this is the one main issue that will plauge the city. As I drive by the London sign on the 401 all I think about are all of the racist experiences I endured living in that city which overshadows all of my good memories.

    Lets all not forget the banana peel incident during an NHL exhibition game, Great job london! Im really proud to say Im not from your city anymore!

  • kd

    This (sadly) doesn’t surprise me. I’ve had my run in with many rude and angry bus drivers of LTC. I just hope this jerk gets fired.

  • Matt Dyer

    London Transit needs a change. ive had way to many problems with the drivers either driving past me, driving very aggressive or just being rude. I feel very bad for you and i cant believe this even happen. im not sure why drivers have such an attitude but something has to change because the amount ignorance most of the drivers have is ridiculous.

  • mike

    London has a lot of racist people in it….I’m white but my wife is black and my children are mixed, but when I’m not around them and I’m at work or out around London I’ve had many incidents where my fellow race has felt it OK to talk about their ignorant views on ethnic people that live here in London. A lot of the times they don’t even no that my family is mixed. They just expect me to have the same views as them. I shake my head at the ignorance of these people. They need some serious help and prayer. Hope this lady gets justice she deserves.

  • Tabitha

    this city is going right down hill and is going to hit rock bottom. what is wrong with this world. The lady said the bus wasnt even close to being full and the bus manager is going to say its routine to ask people to move to the back of the bus? if there were other seats available why would she have to sit at the back of the bus. And how professional is that, what kind of bus driver mocks someone when their speaking. And how did he feel unsafe what so ever. she is a female, who wasnt showing any anger or force towards him. she listened when he told her to go to the back of the bus and didnt continue to argue and he continued to find a way to get her off the bus. RIDICULOUS. london transit is a piece of shit along iwth the rest of the city.

  • Milad Gh

    i am always surprised to see other passengers ignoring such incidents, I remember one time I witnessed a similar incident (the passenger was not black but was an immigrant with a physical disability) and I was the only one who stood up to the buss driver, but then others followed suit. It has to do with people being on their phones all the time and unaware of their surrounding, but it also has to do with group mentality (psych course) . I also have friend who suffers from mental illness and was asked to get off the bus because the bus driver did not want him on the bus which led to a physical altercation and an arrest (the charges were dropped). There are many good folks driving buses who put a smile on everyone’s face but individuals as the one discussed above ruin the reputation of their coworkers, which I believe could fuel further negative interactions.

  • Hinson

    This is only an ALLEGATION! We should not be so quick to scream racism.

    The bus driver could have had a valid argument but is unfairly portrayed in this article.

    You always have to look at both sides of the story.

  • Former LTC Driver

    I am really happy to see the Western Gazette standing up for students. It’s disappointing that the LFP didn’t shine any light on this occurrence. Please pressure the LTC to review and release the audio and video footage. The LTC has these files and should be able to disclose this to the public. The video cameras on the buses are there to protect both parties, so please pressure them to release the video. I recommend Ms. Klumpenhouwer to see if UWO can help resolve this matter, and help remind the LTC & City Hall the financial importance both post secondary institutions play for this city. Visit http://www.law.uwo.ca/clinics_and_centres/community_legal_services/index.html to see if there is anything that can be done. Western Gazette please do not let this article go to rest, and if possible shine some additional light on this event by sharing it with Fanshawe’s Interrobang & London Free Press.

  • http://Www.racistbusdriver.com Mike

    That bus driver is the biggest piece of shit ever. I hope is stupid ass gets fired