News 12 at 11 / Tuesday, January 14, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Augusta Public Transit drivers are complaining he's firing people left and right, but the GM says at the end of the day, the drivers terminated just didn't meet the standard.
"You hire yourself, you promote yourself, and you also fire yourself," McDonald Transit GM Quentarus Brown said.
That's his response to the three drivers who claim they were fired unfairly.
"At the end of the day, when you're right you're right, and when you're wrong you're wrong. So if you're wrong in that instance, you're not going to work in this company, especially if you're not doing things safely," he said.
After receiving a complaint, Brown and his staff starting looking at videos captured from the several cameras located on the buses. What he found was alarming.
"Drinking [coffee] while driving, which is a no-no. Eating while driving, making unauthorized stops, texting on devices while driving, reading documents while driving," he listed.
Those are all safety hazards that Brown says are unacceptable by state and federal law.
"Somebody's saying this is a clearing out. I'm saying this is an improvement, because we're holding people accountable," he said.
Pamela Williams drove an ADA bus for the disabled. While we didn't get to see her video today, Brown says she was fired because she didn't exhaust every option to transport a client.
"When they're calling our service, that means their family member cannot take them, so they're relying on our service," he said.
It's something that hits home with Brown.
"I've been a primary care attendant for my little sister who's never walked a day in her life, so I take ADA and reasonable accommodation very seriously because I live with it," he explained.
He says all the changes in the past few months have been to improve the company, something he explains in an interesting metaphor.
"APT, Augusta Public Transit is the last girl to get asked to the prom. I'm here to take the girl to the prom with everybody else, and not only that, but be the king and queen of the prom in doing so," he said.
Brown wouldn't say how many people have been fired except confirm the three who we talked to. He did say he's also promoted six people since he got here and that he is currently hiring drivers.