Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My Bus Driver Rocks

Your typical, run-of-the-mill OC Transpo bus.
I couldn't start the day off right without telling this story. Obviously, everybody has bad experiences with bus drivers sometimes. This isn't unique to Ottawa, or Canada. Sometimes you catch somebody in a bad mood, and there are probably drivers who revel in the fact that people get upset when they JUST miss their bus. I'm not saying all bus drivers are saints, and similarly, not all people are saints.

All that said, I had a GREAT experience this morning with OC Transpo, and it's all thanks to my friendly neighbourhood bus driver. I know a nice story to start your morning isn't the best way to drive pageviews, but this is just something I have to commend. I catch the downtown-bound 12 every morning, rain or shine, at around 6:40 AM on Montreal Road. I've had a few bus drivers in the nearly 18 months I've taken this bus, and the latest one is there every weekday. Bus drivers are like offensive linemen, in that the best ones often get NO recognition for having done a perfect job.

This driver is like this, and today he went just a little out of his way, but made me so grateful. Here's the situation: every day I leave my house right around 6:35 AM to catch the bus. This particular morning, as I'm about 2 minutes away from the stop, I checked the map on the Transit app (which is great on Android and iOS by the way, you should check it out). It says that I have about 3 minutes, but it also showed the bus was way closer than it should normally be at that time. I like to think the bus was actually a couple of minutes earlier than it normally is, but it's possible I was running just a tad late as well, but I digress. As I walk up to the intersection where I catch the bus (I have to cross Montreal Rd to get to the stop), I see the bus about 5 seconds from pulling up. This is a pretty long light; I'm not going to catch this bus.

This isn't the first time this has happened, so I immediately start thinking about checking when the other buses near me are coming so I can try to hop on one of those and make it to work without being more than a few minutes late. As I'm doing this though, I look over at the bus I'm in the process of missing, and he's just sitting there with the doors open, waving me over. What?! That is awesome. It's about 12 seconds before the light finally changes, and I hustle across the street and onto the bus. The bus driver absolutely did not have to do this, but I am so grateful that he did. He obviously knows his route and his passengers well, and he recognized me enough to be able to take that few seconds to let me get on his bus.

I should mention that on Tuesdays I carry a travel suitcase with me to work, so I was towing about 40 pounds between my bag and that suitcase. This made my day start off so great, and I'm so happy to be able to share a great story with you about this man doing small things to make the world a better place.

If anybody knows management at OC Transpo, please pass this along to them. This bus driver is doing things right. It's the #12 - Rideau Centre, and I get on at stop #8738 at around 6:38 AM on weekdays. I'm submitting this to OC Transpo customer feedback, but I don't know if that actually gets read.

Anyway, take the time out of your day to really show appreciation for people who do nice things for you. It's worth it!