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Metro has fired a bus driver caught texting in a photo taken by a passenger and posted on a local blog.

“We took a look at the photo and were able to conduct an investigation,” said Metro spokesman Steve Taubenkibel. “It was determined the driver was violating the policy.”

The driver, whose identity was withheld by Metro, had worked at Metro since September 2007 and as a bus driver since October of that year, he said. The driver was terminated Thursday.

Metro adopted a zero tolerance policy in July 2009 in a bid to discourage bus and train operators from using cell phones or PDAs or texting while operating a vehicle.

The “one strike” policy replaced a less stringent, graduated “three strike” rule deemed inadequate by Metro General Manager John Catoe in the wake of fatal public transit accidents involving cell phone use and texting by drivers, such as a train accident in Los Angeles in 2008 that killed 25 people.


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