By John Lauritsen

By John Lauritsen, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities woman claims a drive to a meeting ended with her being spit on by a Metro Transit bus driver.

Sheila Fredriksen said she was driving on Dupont Avenue in Minneapolis Wednesday, when a bus turned onto the narrow street.

Fredriksen and three other drivers were going south when Metro Transit bus #680 turned north onto the street, and the road wasn’t big enough everyone.

“I don’t know if the drivers in front of me had rolled down their windows to give the bus driver a piece of their mind, but I did because I think it was poor judgment. Before I had a chance to say anything, the bus driver spit on me,” said Fredriksen.

Fredriksen says the spit landed in her hair, making a bad situation worse.

“I feel like it’s a bullying thing. They are the bigger vehicle. The thought of ‘I’m the bus and I still have the right away,’ I think it becomes worse. I think we as drivers are expected to disappear from the road,” said Sheila.

Metro Transit showed WCCO-TV video of the altercation Thursday afternoon. There are five surveillance cameras on the bus. While you can hear words being exchanged between Sheila and the bus driver, none of the cameras shows their faces, and none of the cameras are in position to show anyone being spit on.

Metro Transit did not let WCCO-TV put the video in the story, but they are standing by their driver, saying she never spit on Sheila and actually stopped the bus to allow Sheila to pass.

They say the driver is a 30-year veteran who has received praise from a number of passengers over the past year.

Metro Transit does agree with Fredriksen on one thing, that the excessive snow has made the streets narrower than past winters.

“It’s winter, I think we have had the second most snow ever to this point, and for that to be the case and for us to operate as well as we do, I think drivers are doing a fantastic job,” said Brian Funk, Metro Transit’s director of field operations.

Fredriksen says what she would like most of all is for bus drivers to use better judgment on city streets, and perhaps consider alternate routes.

“Exercise judgment. Really that’s the message and what a lot of us would ask for — exercise judgment,” said Fredriksen.

Comments (38)
  1. Sharon Solum. Ret...#1040 says:

    Drivers do not “choose” the route, they “follow” a route that is determined by others! I drove bus for almost 27 years! I know the system….As far as spitting, I have never known of a driver stooping that low….But I do know of drivers that have been spit on……Give them a break, if you are having a hard time getting down a street, imagine how hard it is for them!!!! Where is your sense of “fair play”?

    1. M says:

      No kidding. Obviously some one has to go first down a two lane road that is reduced to one because of snow. Stop acting like children. Someone stop and let the other guy go first. Secondly in this instance I realize that I bus is much larger and probably needs the extra time and space to navigate a one lane road so I will stop and yield to them. If your in that big of a hurry that you can’t wait your turn you should leave a bit earlier. As far as rolling down your window to “give a piece of your mind” isn’t any better. Take a chill pill. WOW.

      1. M says:

        Common sense tells me that in a situation like this the vehicle to reach the line of cars first on either end should probably be the one going first and the other would yield.

    2. Brian says:

      Better late than never with my comment: Drivers certainly have their troubles navigating narrow streets in the winter, particularly in the uptown area. As far as being spit on, I know the alleged victim in this report and can attest that she is a liar and a thief. Any reporter that puts her on camera should do a better job of qualifying her character before crediting her with this kind of report.

  2. pat says:

    I was on a bus when an elderly womean got on, and before she could get to a seat the jerk of a driver took off with such a lurch the lady fell and broke her hip. Ambulance called and she was taken away, it was a nightmare. These drivers are antisocial and of course they are all union so the company stands by their driver.

    1. lookout says:

      can’t be union they are all at the Wisconsin Capitol protesting.

      1. they trying skittleville to answer...listen huh says:

        and can’t be all the GOP demons as they all lost licenses due to DUI’s

  3. sorry says:

    These videos belong to the public and should be allowed to be viewed by wcco we only have their word that no video exists of this driver spitting on the woman. Put your moey where your mouth is and show the video.

  4. H says:

    Probably just some rich witch looking for attention.

  5. Ward says:

    I feel bad for this Women I am sure Metro Transit is Lying about this just to protect there driver. I had an MTC driver give me NO Choice but to back into the car behind me or have the whole front of my truck crushed and me and the people with me would have been killed or hurt very bad. I was stopped and a Red light on a north mpls street with no room on either side of me and the MTC bus turned in front of me and just kept going after they knew it caused an accident I contacted MTC and they said since I did not have a bus number they could do nothing. I have damage to my rear bumper because of this, that I have to pay for. So good Luck to this Lady. MTC only cares about themself’s

    1. they trying to make silly stuff up says:

      I feel bad for her too – can you imagine waking up and looking in a mirror at yourself.
      If she spends tonight awake practicing her middle finger taunts all night long she’ll be looking even worse than now
      OMG – she’s my neighbor! I know the whine of that voice! OMG – wow

  6. Devoided says:

    Pretty sure that under the current sunshine laws that the MTC is obligated by federal law to share all the videos….if they aren’t then the news outlets should be filing suit in federal court….(the Supreme Court just ruled that entities like AT&T are obligated to share things as mundane as e-mail)…a publicly funded entity like the MTC HAS to share all info….WCCO…sic the attorney’s on them (isn’t that what the advertising $ pay for???

  7. Transit Customer says:

    I ride transit every day and am amazed how frequently these operators have to put up with brain dead or outright rude automobile drivers. MN law 169.20 states you MUST yield right-of-way to an operating bus. The bus has a right to be there. POVs are required to yield, not the other way around.

    I wonder hat part of a “piece of her mind” did this woman give to the bus operator?

    Testimony by the passengers on the bus will sort this out. Pretty hard to lie about something when you have surveillance video/audio and 50+ witnesses.

    1. ThomasY says:

      Laws don’t apply to some folk … they thin’ anyway

  8. duckydriver says:

    She betternot get in front of my 18 wheeler!!

  9. duckydriver says:

    Women Drivers!!

  10. Mike Hunt says:

    Some people are willing to pay for that type of kinky thing. And to think she got it for free…

  11. Persephone says:

    The woman sounded like a drama queen. What is the point of making a big blowup of a difficult situation by yelling at the driver in the first place, and then deciding to call the news about it?

    I say Pffft!

  12. duckydriver says:

    Just another assertive big mouthed broad

    1. v says:

      you just don’t like her because attractive women find you repulsive.

      1. duckydriver says:

        ATTRACTIVE?? What a joke!

      2. Victim Du Juor says:

        Christi Rowan looks like a Goddess next to this gal.
        says what? spooky

  13. BBB says:

    At first my radar shot up — then the video .
    Shen eeds to learn to keep her mouth shut.
    If the driver did indeed spit (?) I guess a reprimand is in order if it was intentional and at her.
    That said – use your brains. Mouth sut and a bus is bigger than a car and owns the route. I don’t like that part but they have no choice or options on where they go. It’s a city.
    maybe that is the part that is wrong ….city

  14. red says:

    I’m with you Ward. I have seen some pretty agressive MTC drivers and have even been on a bus where my the guy sitting next to me said OMG. These bus drivers think they own they road. I would believe the spitting incident. I would have to give credit to own bus driver yesterday though during a rough situation that was caused at a stop by a passenger that kept talking to the driver, no lights, 4 stop signs, rush hour, big back up an the bus was blocking everything. Particularly my view was my car ended up in the middle of the street

    1. Clint Make My Day wants v to have some java says:

      @ v

      attractive? did you say attractive? say what?????
      now I know where all the Rowan love was coming from. yesterday. 😉

      my spell checker keeps going all around – skunk to skank to rank to whatever — me just hates computers

  15. Olaf says:

    How many other times has this woman rolled down her window to give another driver a piece of her mind? I doubt this is the first time

  16. jhadac says:

    ducky your the kind of driver we all hate. every one you has ever driven in the city has experienced these bus drivers. they abuse the law, they feel they do own the road. its sorry to hear the company defends them so blindly

  17. insignificant says:

    ah c’mon,man…it aint just the transit drivers,as there’s plenty o twin city folk who are inconsiderate to anyone else on the road,eh?…so much in a hurry to get to yer precious “spot” in the parking ramp so you can get to yer li’l cubicle…ughhhh!!!

  18. Rachael in Minnetonka says:

    I’d a ‘burber who has to drive into the city every day and do the weave and bob and deal with the most aggressive, rude and obscene drivers in the country IMO. So far only one has been a bus driver So that makes it about 10,000 to 1. I’m not talking lakes here lol
    The only thing that I am surprised at is I have yet to someone actually shoot someone. I have seen someone grab a guy out of a car and punch him, a handgun waved although whether it was fake or real thankfully no one knows, a couple of times people flippin’ out and actually hitting a car with theirs …. and an alleged “spit” issue gets this kind of press?
    She best be careful who she gets lippy with – spit will be the least of her worries at some point I fear.

  19. jon says:

    Not allowing the video to be shown makes Metro Transit look suspicious.

    1. she's fruiity tooty ugly btw says:

      As long as they let the cops see it I don’t care.
      Maybe some local white gal was doing the bob job on a bro and they just saw it in the video. prefer that not out there myself without a skanketto alert

  20. yeah says:

    30 year veteran. I bet he makes almost 100k a year if you include overtime. Just Sayin…

    1. Feeling mighty sick about this bs says:

      Yeah yeah …. running short of the blow is we? dillisional thought known to occur when ya crash I hear. 😉

    2. joe says:

      So what you could make that much to if you got off your fat ass……

  21. Kyle's laughing out loud says:

    Drool Saliva Spit
    How do we know it was drivers and not fabrication? DNA?
    Come on …. if it was the driver I say bad shot

  22. Diane Rude says:

    This topic is insane! Where,s the respect? Minnesota nice? I,ve been here 19 Yrs. and have,nt seen any, and the comman sense? There Is,nt any here!!!

  23. Kari former 3540 says:

    No, I promise but for rare exceptions, no one really gets more than $60k? I avoided overtime, tried to minimize the spitting I got. Never gave it out, though.

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