An Iranian Ph.D. candidate from Texas was kicked off a Greyhound bus last week on the way to Kansas City, cellphone video shows.
Mohammad Reza believes his nationality and name are the only two explanations for the treatment, according to NBC DFW, a Dallas- and Fort worth-based NBC affiliate. Reza, of Arlington, was traveling from Dallas to KC to speak at a national transportation conference when he was awakened by the bus driver somewhere outside Wichita, he said.
After a dispute about his electronic ticket, he produced a printed copy of the ticket, he said. Still, that apparently wasn’t enough.
“I don’t want to talk to you no more. Get off my bus,” the apparent driver says in the video. “If you’re not getting off, stop talking to me.”
Reza told NBC DFW that at least one passenger treated him with hostility, too, approaching him at his seat.
“(The passenger) said (the) ‘F-word’ and told me, ‘If you are not leaving the bus we want to do something with you here in the bus,’ ” Reza said.
He added that he was trying to understand the reason why, after producing his ticket, he was being kicked off the bus.
A police officer arrived and agreed with the driver that Reza should be removed from the bus, NBC DFW reported. Reza was forced to purchase a $250 ticket, according to NBC DFW, to make it to the conference on time. He presented research that aimed to show low-income earners are disproportionately affected by inadequacies in Dallas area public transportation.
Reza is studying urban planning and public policy at the University of Texas at Arlington.
“It was a difficult night for me!” he told The Star. “Hope no one is ever judged based on their race, color, name, etc.”
His trip got better.
“It was a great city! I really enjoyed Kansas City.”
A Greyhound spokesperson told NBC DFW that the treatment of Reza was unacceptable.
“Greyhound does not tolerate discrimination of any kind and is taking these allegations very seriously,” the spokesperson said. “We’ve identified the driver and are currently conducting a thorough investigation into the matter.”