THE BRONX - A bus driver in The Bronx is being hailed a hero after protecting a young passenger on his bus from a knife-wielding man.

The incident happened at around 8 p.m. yesterday on Webster Avenue and East 179th Street. Transit officials say the Bx41 bus driver held the apparently drunk man down until the victim could get off the bus and police could arrive.

Police say the driver wasn't hurt, but was taken to North Central Hospital after feeling overwhelmed when he realized he had put his life on the line.