When you got to go: State fines King County Metro over restroom issues for drivers
SEATTLE — King County Metro is in the hot seat, fined by the state for not providing drivers enough resources to use restrooms while on duty.
The problem is getting so bad, bus drivers told Q13 Fox News on Friday, that some of their co-workers are urinating on their seats.
“It’s ridiculous. I mean. no one should have to worry about going to the bathroom,” bus driver Rickey Brown said.
Last year, the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587 received at least 60 reports of drivers urinating on their seats.
“Some operators are complaining about how the seats smell,” Brown said
“We’ve had to stop the bus, remove passengers because it’s a biohazard,” ATU President Paul Bachtel said.
Some drivers are even carrying around jars and coffee cups to relieve themselves.
“These drivers deserve restrooms when they need it so it’s our job to look into it,” WA Labor & Industries spokesman Tim Church said.
L & I says the current system is unacceptable. They not only fined metro $3,500 but they are also requiring them to identify more bathrooms along the routes.
“I understand it’s an issue, it’s been an issue for a while,” King County Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond said.
Desmond added that there are more than 280 bathrooms along bus routes and drivers should never feel like they can’t stop. But he also understands their predicament.
“It puts them in a situation: Do I relieve myself or inconvenience my passengers because I’ll start late,” Desmond said.
Metro has invested $4 million so far to address the problem but the union says that’s not enough.
“The way to fix it is to fix the schedules,” Bachtel said.
Budget cuts mean more overcrowded buses, delayed routes and shorter breaks. Drivers say it’s a dire situation that needs to be solved.
“It’s putting too much pressure and stress,” Brown said.
Metro says the solution is to invest money to fix overcrowded and unreliable routes.
King County Metro tweeted the following Friday night: