Saggy pants riders banned from Texas buses

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by CYNTHIA VEGA, WFAA.com

WFAA & The Associated Press

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 8:39 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 1 at 8:39 PM

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Bus riders in Fort Worth who wear sagging pants have the choice of pulling them up before boarding or finding another way to get around the city.

Three weeks ago, the Fort Worth Transportation Authority's added the new "no saggy pants" rule to it's already-existing dress code, allowing bus drivers to turn away passengers whose pants sag below the waist.

Joan Hunter, a spokeswoman for the system known as the T, says it's about respecting everyone who chooses to ride city buses.

"It's not like they have to go home," Hunter said. "They can just pull it up. It's to be respectful of other riders."

Posters and billboards have been placed throughout the city warning riders to "pull 'em up or find another ride."

The no-saggy pants campaign began in August 2008, but the T recently made an administrative change to its dress code giving bus drivers authority to deny boarding to violators, Hunter said.

The policy change took effect May 12, and that day drivers asked about 50 riders to pull up their pants before boarding, according to Hunter. All complied, she said.

"They'll mess with our freedom," said Cory Shelby, a tattoo artist who rides city buses. "Pretty soon they're going to ban dreadlocks, too."

Shelby, 29, recently was told to pull up his pants before boarding, even though he said his black cargo shorts were not drooping enough to be distasteful.

"They told me I had to pull up my pants," he said, "And my boxers weren't even showing."

However, rider Larry Neador said he can understand the tne policy.

"Home of the free, home of the brave, it's a free country and you're suppose to be able to do what you want to do and every individual is unique," he said. "But, you do have to have respect for others. Because no one wants to look at your ... like that."

City Councilman Frank Moss has said the saggy-pants look hurts the ability of young people to land jobs.

"This shows we have taken the overall concept of pulling them up to a new level," Moss said during a recent council meeting. "There are some real policies in place to say, if you don't pull 'em up, you can't ride."

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