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Man Says Being A ‘Big Black Guy’ Kept Him Off Of NJ Transit Bus

Alonza Robertson Has Demanded An Apology, NJ Transit Is Investigating
NJ TRANSIT bus (file / credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

NJ TRANSIT bus (file/credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

PARAMUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — NJ Transit has launched an investigation into a claim by a New York man that he was not allowed onto a bus because he is a “big black guy”.

Alonza Robertson, 45, was visiting New Jersey from Rockland County on a shopping trip in July when he attempted to board an NJ Transit bus but was apparently waved away, 1010 WINS reported.

“She just waved her hand at me dismissively,” Robertson told 1010 WINS reporter Gary Baumgarten.

Robertson was attempting to return home after finding out that stores at the Bergen Town Center in Paramus were closed on Sundays, he explained.

The man said that he normally takes the train to New Jersey but had taken the bus that day because of a service disruption. He told 1010 WINS that he was trying to ask the driver if she could tell him which bus to take home.

The driver called police to the scene and Robertson was prevented from boarding the bus. Shortly after being denied access to the bus Robertson was soaked by a rain storm and had to shell out $45 for a cab ride home, he said.

Robertson, a manager at a New York City accounting association, told 1010 WINS that he believes the driver waved him away because he is a “big black guy”.

The bus had been in a “hold for time” which meant that the driver was ahead of schedule and would have to wait to admit passengers. Robertson claims that he left to use a restroom and returned to find other passengers boarding but was still denied access.

NJ Transit officials have launched an investigation into the incident and said that they are taking the allegations seriously.

“NJ Transit takes these allegations seriously and upon receipt of the customer complaint immediately launched a full investigation, led by NJ Transit’s Office of Civil Rights,” said John Durso Jr., a spokesman for the transit agency. “This continues at this time.”

Robertson told 1010 WINS that he wants an apology and for the incident to remain “on file” with NJ Transit.

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