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Boston MTA Fires Bus Driver for Using Cell Phone

An Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority bus driver has been fired after less than a week on the job for allegedly violating the agency's ban on cell phone use.

The man had survived a 27,000-person job lottery to become one of 34 new drivers hired this year.

MBTA General Manager Richard Davey said Wednesday the new driver was seen using a cell phone at a training site. When a supervisor approached, the trainee allegedly snapped it shut - and then got on a bus.

The agency's policy requires the immediate firing of any driver caught using a cell phone while on duty. It mandates a 30-day suspension of anyone caught carrying a phone while working.

The policy was instituted last year after a driver slammed his Green Line trolley into another train while sending a text message to his girlfriend.

About 50 people were hurt in the underground crash in downtown Boston, though all of the injured passengers were treated and released shortly after the crash.

Even before that incident, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority had banned operators from using cell phones and ran an internal ad campaign featuring a poster of an open cell phone that warned employees not to drive "under the influence."

Watch a 2009 interview with MBTA general manager Daniel Grabauskas from CBS Station WBZ in Boston:

Local Video from WBZ in Boston

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