[UPDATE] DART Driver Refused Bus With Atheist Sign - Driver Faces Disciplinary Action
By KCCI.COM DES MOINES
Added: Tue, 18 Aug 2009 23:00:00 UTC
DART suspends driver after she refuses to use bus bearing atheist ad
Controversy over a bus advertisement promoting a local atheist group has found its way to the driver's seat.
On Monday, the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority suspended bus operator Angela Shiel after she refused to drive a bus with an Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers ad on its side. Shiel, 41, said the ad's message, "Don't believe in God? You are not alone," went against her Christian faith.
Earlier this month, DART removed the ads from the buses following complaints from riders. DART returned the ads to the buses after receiving new complaints, including from the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa.
The ads were put back on 20 buses in DART's fleet last week.
Shiel, a DART employee for eight years, now could be fired because of her refusal to drive the bus.
DART policy states that drivers cannot choose which buses they drive, DART General Manager Brad Miller said.
"Drivers are not permitted to reject a working bus," Miller said. "It's a very fundamental policy for DART. ... It's an essential rule that we will maintain."
This is in part because of a federal law that requires DART to rotate buses to different routes on a regular basis and because buses must run on time, he said.
Thanks to Crapsquire for the link.
There are some empty seats on DART buses thanks to those controversial atheist ads. That includes the driver seat.
Des Moines Area Regional Transit confirms a driver refused to drive a bus with an atheist advertisement Monday.
It happened during shift change. There were some passengers on the bus, but DART officials said they called in a replacement driver and passengers had to wait only about 5 minutes.
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