November 23, 2019
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Pakistani-American minor kept from boarding Concord Coach for lack of ID

Brian Swartz | BDN
Brian Swartz | BDN
A Concord Coach Lines bus pulls away from the terminal at 1039 Union St., Bangor in this 2013 file photo.

Concord Coach Lines is once again attracting attention after a bus driver kept a 14-year-old Pakistani-American boy from boarding the bus in Rockland because he didn’t have identification.

The Boston Globe, which originally reported the story, doesn’t use Ahmed’s full name, but does identify him as the American-born son of a Pakistani immigrant.

[Bus line employee falsely told passengers they must be US citizens to ride, company says]

Ahmed was returning home to Massachusetts after visiting a friend in Maine and was traveling with the friend’s grandmother. He was asked for an ID. When he said he didn’t have one, he was told he couldn’t board the bus. The grandmother tried to intervene, but was told to get back on the bus.

A vice president for Concord Coach Lines told The Globe that the incident wasn’t racially motivated, and that the driver didn’t even notice that Ahmed was a person of color.

According to Concord’s website, “Children under the age of 17 with no photo I.D. must be accompanied by an adult with a photo I.D. upon purchasing a ticket.” There is no mention of children having to show ID.

The bus left without Ahmed, forcing him to contact his friend’s family members for a ride back home to Massachusetts.

A spokesperson from Concord Coach Lines released a statement saying that the company’s policy requires a printed ticket or an ID, and “[w]hen the passenger in question informed the driver that he didn’t have a printed ticket or an ID, only a cell phone, the driver boarded the rest of the bus first, and then discovered that the passenger had left the boarding area when he tried to find him again to determine a solution.”

The Rockland incident follows one in June, when an employee of the company told a passenger in Bangor that only U.S. citizens could ride the bus.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.

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