South-east Queensland public transport authority Translink has assured commuters that nobody was at risk of immediate harm as a result of an incident on a peak hour Brisbane City Council bus service on Friday.
A Translink spokesperson said the BCC driver of the number 120 bus from the city to the Garden City Shopping Centre at Upper Mount Gravatt on Brisbane’s south side deserved praise for the swift action he took to protect other passengers.
“It seems that around 7am on Friday a middle-aged man boarded the 120 bus in the Myer Centre bus station in the CBD along with students heading to Griffith Uni’s main campus at Nathan, just a few stops before the Garden City terminus,” the spokesperson said.
“But he soon came to the attention of a number of other passengers who took action to alert the bus driver who stopped the bus and offloaded the man by the side of the road in the suburb of Tarragindi (main picture).”
Griffith University student Milly Ennial, 19, said the man stood out from other passengers.
“He was really weird. Like, he sat there, like, and didn’t use his mobile phone, like, or have headphones on,” she said.
“He just, like, looked out the window, like, at the passing scenery. On a couple of occasions he even tried, like, to engage a nearby passenger in conversation. Really creepy.”
Another student, Nick Beard, 20, said several passengers began to grow increasingly uncomfortable with the man’s behaviour.
“While he was on the bus he seemed to be taking an interest in the suburbs and landmarks it was passing,” he said. “I mean that’s just odd, isn’t it?
“Some students on the bus began tweeting one another about his behaviour and some tried to tweet the driver too.
“But when that didn’t work, one of them actually got out of his seat and went to the driver to tell him what was going on.
“It was such an act of bravery. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
A Brisbane City Council spokesperson said all of its bus drivers had undergone sensitivity training and were aware of the need to ensure passenger safety and comfort by discreetly handling passengers creating problems for other commuters.
Translink said all other passengers on the bus had been offered counselling. The bus has also been rested from service as a precautionary measure.