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Monday, June 28, 2010

Blog War Leads to Investigation of TriMet Driver

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Al M, from his blog. Note the flag.
  • Al M, from his blog. Note the flag.
The irascible Al M is a veteran TriMet bus driver with a "stellar" safety record and an outrageous blog. His caps-heavy RANTINGS OF A TRIMET BUS DRIVER has turned up in Blogtown headlines before, back in 2007 when Al Margulies allegedly posted a photo of two queer girls kicked off a bus to the TriMet operators' Yahoo group.

I've always figured it was only a matter of time before someone at TriMet looked into the hazy legal and safety questions surrounding Margulies' ranting video blog, which he sometimes filmed while driving a bus.

Apparently, all it took to launch an investigation was pissing off the wrong blog commenter—Marcus Griffith, a local cyclist who got into a spat with Al M over on a BikePortland thread. After going back and forth with Al M on the blog and checking out RANTINGS, Griffith repeatedly reported Margulies to TriMet and the Portland Police as a potential "distracted driver."

Now, reports KGW, KATU and the Oregonian, TriMet looked into the complaints and came out with a new policy: a ban on bus or MAX operators recording videos while on the job.

And so dies the TriMet Live Vlog. All the videos I can now find on the RANTINGS blog or YouTube have been removed or made private. We will now have to make due with only his textual flame wars.

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