[ LETTER ]

Sat, Mar 23, 2013 - Page 8

An apology for bad service

Regarding the incident described by bus passenger Valerie Caroon (Letters, March 10, page 8) and reported in the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) on March 13, in which she said she was shooed off a route Red 36 bus by the driver while riding in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Tamsui District (淡水), the New Taipei City Government Transportation Department wishes to apologize to the passenger who received such inappropriate treatment.

As soon as we were informed about the incident, our department instructed Tamsui Motor Transport Ltd to handle it in an appropriate manner.

According to Tamsui Motor Transport, the driver and the foreign passenger in question were unable to speak each other’s languages, and the driver mistakenly thought that the passenger wanted to get off at Aletheia University, and so gestured with his hand.

However, a review of the on-board monitor camera footage shows that the driver did in fact shoo the member of the public off the bus.

Our department wishes to reiterate that public transport services should respect their passengers without any distinction as to race, status or gender.

As well as formally instructing the Tamsui Motor Transport company to submit a self-criticism and to discipline the staff member who acted negligently, we have asked them to improve their staff education and training.

The incident in question has been assessed and recorded as a failure to meet New Taipei City’s urban bus operation service standards.

Should a similar incident occur in the future, it will be handled directly in accordance with the Highway Act (公路法).

New Taipei City Government Transportation Department