DRIVER: MARTA fails to protect worker safety - CBS46 News

DRIVER: MARTA fails to protect worker safety

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Alvatina Lee, a MARTA driver, had just stopped her bus at the east point station to pick up passengers.

One would-be customer tried use a reduced-fare card, but Lee thought something was wrong.

"She tapped a fare card on to the bus. I asked her to see her picture on the card. It was not her," Lee said.

When Lee asked the woman to pay the full fare the woman grew angry.

"She repeatedly used profanity toward me. She yelled in my face," Lee said.

Lee contacted MARTA Police, but the woman would not leave.

"I motioned my hand like this so she not come close to me," which made the woman angrier, Lee said. "She attempted to kick me."

Lee said police wrote the woman a ticket for disorderly conduct and let her go, but Lee wanted the woman thrown in jail. 

"They gave her a ticket and told her to leave. She should've been charged with simple assault because she attempted to assault me," Lee said.

"If they were just going to issue her a copy of charges, I did not feel safe driving the route," Lee said.

Lee told CBS 46 that her supervisors told her to get back out and drive another route.

With the irate passenger still walking the streets, Lee did not feel safe.

MARTA last year unveiled its ride with respect campaign, a zero-tolerance program for passengers who break the rules.

Lee called the program little more than a bandage.

"MARTA tells their employees safety is first and that our safety is most important and they are not living up to that. If a person commits a crime, then you arrest them. That person will continue to return and continue to abuse your employees," Lee said.

MARTA would not speak with CBS 46 on camera.

Spokesman Lyle Harris, in a written statement, said "MARTA's top priority is to ensure that our customers, employees and the general public are always as safe and secure as possible. We are reviewing the incident that occurred and will withhold any further comment until that investigation is concluded."

Lee said the incident was caught on surveillance camera.

CBS 46 is working to get a copy of it.

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