A bus driver told a rider to wear a mask. Then the passenger spit on her.

Some buses are distancing riders from drivers to better protect them.
Some buses are distancing riders from drivers to better protect them. (Michael Brochstein/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media/Getty Images)

Miami-Dade County bus driver Miakeya Rolle says she hasn't had a good night's rest since a passenger intentionally spit on her.

On the afternoon of April 19, a homeless woman boarded Rolle's bus and began coughing on passengers, according to a police report. Rolle told her she needed to wear a mask. The woman spat on Rolle and fled the bus.

Miami, like many transit systems, requires passengers to wear masks during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rolle cleaned herself off with Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer as she waited for police to respond. She was later tested at a hospital. When she returned home, she undressed outside and threw her uniform in the garbage.

Rolle has yet to return to driving a bus.

"That's how I feed my family. But as of right now, I can't do it," said Rolle, who has tested negative for Covid-19. "I've never had anything like that happen to me. I'm about to lose my mind."

Another Miami-Dade County transit bus driver, Denys Santos, was charged with aggravated assault on April 29 after chasing and swinging a metal pipe at a rider who removed his mask to talk on a cell phone, according to a Monroe County Sheriffs Office police report.

Bus drivers nationwide are facing new challenges as they try to protect passengers and themselves from a virus that's killed at least 135 transit workers nationwide, according to reports from the largest transit unions, the Amalgamated Transit Union and the Transport Workers Union.