16 December 2013

Humanity on the 14A

I don't ride the bus much, and when I do, I'm always a little surprised to see that there's a community of riders that take the same line at the same time every day.

Today, one rider helped another get her shopping cart on the bus, and then gave her a hand. 

A little later, a man got on who didn't speak any English, but wanted to know where to get off the bus.  He showed a piece of paper to another rider, who read it out loud, and a third rider identified the address of the agency -- but no one on the bus spoke his language.  So the driver said, "Hold on, I'll get someone."

At the next stop, the driver found a man who shared the language of the first one, and could tell him where to get off the bus and what direction to walk from there.

The helper chatted with the other guy for a while before he disappeared into the back of the bus. 

A couple of stops later, a person got on in a wheelchair.  This requires lifting some seats near the front of the bus and then helping the rider hook the chair into the designated spot with some straps.  I've seen the occasional bus driver look put out by this, and passengers sometimes respond in kind by grumbling about the extra time required.

Today's driver, though, did everything needed with efficiency and kindness.  No one on the bus dared grumble.

At the stop before the man needing directions was to get off, the bus driver found another rider who spoke his language to make sure he got off at the right stop and walked the right direction.  He waited to make sure that guy was going the right direction before he left the bus stop.

I was a few minutes late for my appointment.  But I was glad to get a ride with that driver.