Thursday, February 7, 2013

Cold Weather Courtesy

I have been a regular bus rider for many years and it seems to me that our bus drivers are more courteous when we have sever cold weather. During Winnipeg's recent cold snap with -30 wind chills, I noticed several examples of this phenomenon.

I was on the #17 bus and we were just pulling away from the stop at the corner of Sherbrook Street and Westminster Ave when the bus stopped part way through the intersection blocking the crosswalk. I wondered why and looked out the window to see what was happening. Coming along the sidewalk beside the Sherbrook Inn was a man I have seen many times on the bus. My guess is that he has suffered a stroke at some point because one side of his body just doesn't work. He walks extremely slowly, shuffling his feet. He is so slow he almost looks like he is walking in place. He looks like he could tip over at any moment. He carries a cane to help with balance. The driver patiently waited for this man to reach the bus and slowly get on. As he usually does, the man stood at the front of the bus, holding on with his good arm. I thought, good for you bus driver.
The Sherbrook Inn

On another trip (again on the #17 bus) with a different driver, the bus had just dropped off a passenger in front of Crossways In Common at Broadway and Furby. As the bus was proceeding through the pedestrian corridor, a woman on the sidewalk began to wave and point to the other side of the street. A woman with a stroller and two young children was just coming to the crosswalk. The bus couldn't stop where it was, so the driver waved to the woman and continued through the crosswalk to find a place to stop. There were large snowbanks on the side of the road which would have made it impossible for the woman to get on the bus from the sidewalk. The driver stopped far enough out from the snowbanks that the woman, with her children and the stroller could walk between the bus and the snowbank to reach the bus door. The driven even got down from his seat and got out of the bus to help the woman get the stroller on the bus. Nice.
Crossways In Common
On a cold evening, around 6:00 PM, I was riding the #20 bus along Academy Road. The driver slowed as he approached the stop at Wilton St. and since no one had signaled they wanted to get off, and there was no one standing at the stop he began to accelerate. Suddenly a man came running toward the stop waving. It was too late for the bus to stop at the designated stop. The driver slowed and tried to find a place to stop where the man could get on the bus. Again the snowbanks along the road were a problem. He did find a spot and waited for the man to catch up with the bus. Another courteous driver.

Some drivers are helpful, friendly and courteous all the time. Others, not so much. I just want to acknowledge those who make a special effort when the weather is really miserable and if you miss the bus, it is a cold wait for the next one.


  1. Hmmm. I wonder how your eldest son will respond to this post....

  2. What, you mean he doesn't think any bus drivers are courteous? I can only comment on my own experience!

  3. Every time I am running for a bus that is 2 minutes early, the driver smiles and drives away and I'm late for work