By Roble Bashir
Immigrant bus drivers sometimes feel unsafe during their work in Finland. They face many challenges especially when they work at night.
Some white Finnish passengers try to take advantage of bus drivers with immigrant backgrounds. They may, for example, show an expired ticket and argue with the driver that it is valid. Others may show a ticket bought with their cell phone that is not valid on most buses. They may get into an argument with the driver and claim that he doesn’t know the rules or his job properly even if he has over fifteen years experience on the job.
On other occasions, a passenger may start to drink on the bus. Some passengers may even disobey the driver’s request for them to stop drinking alcohol inside the bus. If the driver insists, some passengers may start to hurl abusive insults at him like the n-word. Sometimes bus drivers can even be assaulted while at work.
One such driver that was assaulted was from Somalia. He asked a group of passengers to stop smoking and drinking inside the bus. Instead of cooperating, they grabbed a fire extinguisher and used it to spray the driver.
Some white Finns often ask the driver if the bus is going to Africa. Not only are these passengers disrespectful, but they show their arrogance and racism.
It’s easy to understand why some bus drivers feel apprehensive about their jobs.