There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Monday, March 12, 2007

Bus driver appreciation day

I declare a Good News day. Each blogger on this day should publish at least one blog post devoted to at least one nice thing to say about someone.

Here's my contribution to good blogging.

Each morning I take the same bus. (OK, there were the two sick days and the day I took an earlier bus and the weekends when I sleep in, but let's not quibble.) This means I get the same driver each morning.

I have written before about the extra effort this driver takes (see here about the request for change and the effort to wake the sleeper at the bus stop). Today, as often happens on Watt Avenue, we stopped long enough to answer a woman's question about which of the several lines on that street would take her to her destination. The driver always has a quick and friendly answer. That friendly part is important. In my very limited experience, I have found most drivers are at best curt when asked for directions. Some just claim not to know.

Today, on one of the residential streets the route follows, the bus pulled over next to an elderly woman who was walking slowly in the direction of a bus stop. We were about 20 yards short of the stop, and if the bus hadn't stopped, the lady would have missed her chance to catch the bus. The driver made the front of the bus kneel, opened the door and asked the lady if this was her bus. It wasn't, but I'm sure the lady was impressed with the courtesy of the stop.

And with all of this the bus still got to 65th Street by 9:16 so I could catch the early train downtown.


Joseph said...

I'm really glad that you observed something as simple as what you did that has such an impact on people who ride our system. Something that I miss about being a bus driver is the human aspect, chatting with people and lending a simple hand if I can.

Little tings make a huge difference.

Unfortunately, being a light rail driver does not afford me many chances to do something nice for people. We have to leave on time all the time. Once in awhile I have a chance to offer directions or even leave the doors accessible for just another split second so that person making the mad dash from a late bus might catch my train.....

You should share your thoughts with your driver, and maybe even the CS Reps at RT. Most operators go through a career that spans decades and never get a positive comment from a rider....

I've had a few make a little prouder about what I do for a living.


John said...

I checked out the "Contact Us" page and ended up sending a copy of the post to the "NEW -- email address for Commendations, Comments & Complaints --

I got a "vacation" notice from Theresa Weaver, saying I should send an email to CAD.

I'll just wait for her to get back.