‘Transit freak’ stole Dade buses for kicks

Miami-Dade busHere’s an odd little story from Florida. On June 1st, an 18-year-old transit fan, James Harris, walked straight past security guards at the Miami-Dade Transit bus depot and selected a bus, which he then used to pick up fares on the 123 South Beach Local route. He was wearing a uniform he’d been given by bus drivers he’d befriended, one of whom later reported him.

While out on bail for burglary and grand theft, Harris took another bus from a different depot. Dispatch used the on-board GPS to locate the bus, then told Harris via radio that there was a mechanical problem and to pull over to wait for a mechanic. When the mechanic asked for his ID, Harris took off. He’s still on the lam.

The story came from the transit commissioner himself, who made the story public at a commission meeting to demonstrate the kind of problems that are causing Miami-Dade Transit somewhat of a credibility problem of late. (Of course, he contributed to the problem himself by revealing the details of an ongoing investigation with the suspect still on the loose.)

It’s kind of hard to get angry about a crime like this, though. Harris made the stops, he collected fares and no customers complained. It’s almost cute.

Photo from www.miamidade.gov/transit.

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