Video Allegedly Shows Drunk Off-Duty MTA Bus Driver In Road Rage Incident With Cyclist

Dashed Arrow Shmuli Evers

The MTA is investigating an off-duty bus driver who was allegedly driving drunk this morning when he nearly collided with a cyclist in Fort Greene.

Brooklyn resident Shmuli Evers, 36, says he was commuting to Midtown at around 8:00 a.m. on Friday when he noticed the driver of a red Ford Fusion veering between lanes along Dekalb Avenue, and coming dangerously close to the painted bike lane. After Evers asked to be given more space, the driver exited the car, claiming, "I wasn't even fucking near you."

That's when Evers said he smelled alcohol on the driver's breath. Video taken by the cyclist shows him questioning whether the man had been drinking, to which he responds: "Don't worry about what the fuck I do," before getting back in his car.

Evers says he called 911 after watching the motorist drive off in the direction of the Brooklyn Bridge. It was only after the fact that he realized the man was wearing a bus driver's uniform and MTA cap—suggesting that he may have been on his way to (or from) work.

When Evers went to the MTA's Manhattan bus depot to report the incident, he says transit officials immediately identified the person in the video as one of their bus drivers.

"They recognized him right away," Evers told Gothamist. "The manager seemed very concerned. He didn't say what he was going to do about it, but [a different MTA employee] said if he was driving a bus right now he would be pulled from his shift."

A spokesperson for the MTA told Gothamist on Friday that the incident was under investigation, but could not provide an additional information by press time.

Evers added that he'd looked up the vehicle's driving history, which showed that a license plate associated with the red sedan has received 31 parking and camera violations since 2013—including 20 alternate-side parking tickets and at least one school zone speeding violation. The cyclist said he was unsure whether there was an MTA placard on the dashboard of the car.

Recent investigations have shown that public employees are frequently among New York's most reckless drivers, but often manage to avoid discipline when caught. Earlier this week, FDNY firefighter Brauley De La Rosa was belatedly arrested and suspended by the Fire Department, following widespread outrage over a video showing him driving into a cyclist on the West Side Highway.

"It just goes to show that there needs to be full-on protected bike paths throughout the city, and that non-protected bike lanes are not as safe as DOT makes us believe," said Evers. "There are drunk drivers, irresponsible drivers everywhere."

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