August 22, 2019 | 89° F

Bus driver McNeil’s resignation sparks controversy

Photo by Edwin Gano |

Former LX bus driver Stan McNeil talks to students outside the Rutgers Student Center on the College Avenue campus.

This semester was Stan McNeil’s last.

The former LX bus driver lost his job after First Transit, Rutgers’ bus service, asked him to resign. First Transit’s statement revealed that McNeil failed to secure a wheelchair correctly on his bus.

“There are four points of restraint for safely securing a wheelchair on a bus,” First Transit spokeswoman Stephanie Creech said in an email. “Mr. McNeil secured only two of them. First Transit’s safety guidelines state that ‘Failure to properly secure wheelchairs, or other mobility devices, is identified as a safety offense appropriate for discharge.’”

In Jean Paul Isaacs’ nearly nine-minute video on the situation, McNeil said he had no intention of leaving his position.

Isaacs, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, said McNeil is more than just a bus driver for students. McNeil wanted to make the world a better place and be part of the puzzle for a greater picture, he said.

McNeil, who said he holds no animosity against anyone involved with the loss of his job, said First Transit told him his services were not needed after he put his hands on the girl in the wheelchair and prayed for her.

Creech said in an email statement that First Transit appreciated McNeil’s rapport with students and respected the positive messages he sent.

McNeil said he asked the girl in the wheelchair if she felt she could move, to which she responded she could not.

“She was on my bus before, and I mentioned to her ‘I believe there’s a healing for you,’” McNeil said. “I was praying that she would be healed.”

McNeil said he received an outpouring of love from students in the form of cards. Thousands of students also signed an online petition in favor of McNeil returning to his post.

McNeil leaves a legacy of growth and inspiration within the Rutgers community and said he wants students to know their lives are limitless.

“I got separated from you guys, but it’s only in the physical form because in the spirit, I’m still with my students,” he said in the video. “In the spirit, I’m still with you.”

By Sabrina Szteinbaum

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