Local News

Bus riders claim harassment at downtown Raleigh station

Posted November 1, 2011

— A Raleigh city official said Tuesday that he sees nothing wrong with a private subcontractor's policy toward loitering at a bus station even though some bus riders see it as harassment.

The riders at downtown Raleigh's Moore Square Transit Station say aggressive security guards accuse them of loitering when all they are doing is waiting for the bus.

In some cases, riders say, they are arrested.

"They see you standing out here for more than five minutes, then boom, they want to harass you," said Donald Small, a disabled veteran who takes the bus on a regular basis.

WRAL News spent several hours at the bus terminal Tuesday and observed many people remaining at the stop well after the buses were gone.

"We have homeless people down here, and they have nowhere to go but here or in the park," bus rider Dallas High said.

Security guards say they do ask people they think are loitering to leave the property. But they only have them arrested after multiple warnings or if they return to the property after being banned.

Bus riders claim harassment at downtown Raleigh station Bus riders claim harassment at downtown Raleigh station

"I don't believe they're aggressive," said Scott McClellan, general manager of Veolia Transportation, the company the city hired to manage and operate the Capital Area Transit.

"We want it to be a safe and secure environment for all of out customers," he said. "If you're just here to hang out, and you're not involved in riding the bus or using our services, we prefer you go somewhere else."

David Eatman, the city's transit administrator, said he stands by Veolia's efforts to keep the terminal safe and that he isn't aware of anyone with a legitimate bus ticket who has been asked to leave the station.

"If you're legitimate riders, you are welcome," he said.

Eatman also said that the city has a federal grant to study transportation in the Moore Square area and that the growing homeless population will factor into the study.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • arbed4 Nov 4, 2011

    As a family member of the security team that patrol this area, I would like to say that the area is far from clean and having just people riding the bus. The security team has to put up with drugs, drunks, and stabbing and everything else at this place. While I feel for people that have lost their jobs, family and homes, it is a shame that people that are trying to work and do not have transportation have to put up with this mess. Alot of homeless people are that way because of drug problems. They need to use NC resources to get off the drugs and back into society and they would not have to hang out and pretend they are riding the bus. I wish my family member had not decided to go into a different line of work.

  • barbstillkickin Nov 2, 2011

    Sounds to me like our little I don't give a care Purdue has taken so much money away from government employees that now we can not even protect our own people. Maybe we should have Purdue go to Moore square with out her body guards and ride a bus or use the rest room or just stand there for 10 minutes. Then maybe she would see what we have to endure to ride a bus.

  • ICTrue Nov 2, 2011

    If the Occupy Raleigh protesters get their permanent protest site that they are acking for, there will be a lot of moms and grandma's basements that are no longer occupied. Maybe they will take these guys in. They are no worse that what they are getting rid of.

  • FE Nov 2, 2011

    If you think most of those people in that area are "just waiting for the bus" I strongly suggest you improve your overall powers of perception.

    While I applaud the efforts of the merchants/restaurant owners in the area of Moore Square and the nearby bus station for trying to improve things downtown, rest assured that I generally avoid that area especially after dark and/or when my family/children are with me.

    For that matter, many areas of downtown Raleigh now have the "bus riders" strolling around.

    The REAL problem here has nothing to do with any "harassment" as mentioned in the news story.


  • penelope1 Nov 2, 2011

    This area needs more security, not less. Also could use a good scrubbing too...unless you are into the aroma of stale urine and vomit.

    I totally agree with you; I too work downtown and it's not a safe place. I was in one of the elevators at Moore Square and it looked like someone had been stabbed, blood everywhere. I thought there was talk of moving the bus terminal from downtown.

  • Taxpayingcitizen Nov 2, 2011

    I work downtown, and now these people are loitering in front of my building - I cringe when I think I may have to leave work in the dark and hope that Raleigh PD keeps a close eye on this situation!

  • CharliesImages Nov 2, 2011

    "WRAL News spent several hours at the bus terminal Tuesday and observed many people remaining at the stop well after the buses were gone." Bravo to those responsible to try to keep the bus area available for bus patrons and getting others to move on.

  • common_sense_plz Nov 2, 2011

    I think they have to stay on top of this, if not the downtown area will return to what it once was....unsafe. There are places for the homeless they just cant drink alcohol there and they are opened in the evenings, plus it is the hopes of those that run the shelters that if you really dislike being homeless, then get a job.

  • tnjed Nov 2, 2011

    This area needs more security, not less. Also could use a good scrubbing too...unless you are into the aroma of stale urine and vomit.

  • readme Nov 2, 2011

    I had two men beg me for money in downtown the other day. They were polite and non-threatening. I said no. They continued to walk behind me, and they saw an open parked gar at a gas station. I overheard them discuss if they should check it. One guy went to the car just as someone came out of the store to get in his car. The moral of the story is the same people that politely beg for money will rob you blind if they can get away with it. So I don't want them loitering around wherever I am doing business or leisure.