Going Home

Last summer, I was downtown with a bunch of people, and we were all waiting around at night at a fairly deserted bus stop. It wasn\'t one of the ones like Douglas and Fort where people were always around.
As we were boarding the bus stop, one girl was desperately rooting around her bag to find some way to pay for the bus. Unfortunately, all she could come up with was a five dollar bill. She tried asking everyone who was boarding if they had change they could spare or help break up her five, but either no one had anything or no one wanted to deal with her. I was waiting in line to board and I felt so awful for her. It was dark and cold out, and I felt quite wretched for her. I wouldn\'t want to be in a situation like that where no one could or would help me.
So I looked in my wallet and took out one of my spare bus tickets and gave it to her and wished her good night and to be safe. She was surprised but immediately thanked me for my random act of kindness.

I didn\'t expect her to be so thankful for my help. It was such a small thing for me to do but to her, I helped her get home safe and sound.
It\'s been something that has been on my mind every time I board a bus. I hope we can all help each other out in the future!

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Bus Driver Hero

I take the #14 University bus to work in Victoria every morning. I get on the bus just after it turns left onto Richmond Avenue, and I travel downtown to the Hudson building.

This morning something really unusual happened. Just before we drove by the hospital on Richmond, my driver slammed on his brakes to stop abruptly. I saw a man had crossed the road against the light, and I thought he was lucky he didn’t get hit. The driver pulled into the next stop, which is across the street from the hospital. A police car put on its siren, as they had apparently followed the man from the hospital. Our driver got out and talked to the police, then came back to tell us that they were arresting the man under the mental health act, since the man had just tried to commit suicide by stepping in front of our double decker bus.

A transit supervisor appeared within minutes, and had us all exit the bus and take the next one, which arrived shortly after.

I don’t have a car these days, so I get around town by bus all the time. I pretty much take the bus drivers for granted – I have always found them to be kind and courteous, and on the rare occasion when something has happened (a tire blew out one time, once a bus pulled over due to an oil leak, another time there was a brief collision; there have been detours, and delays due to snow and ice) the bus driver in question has always acted in a professional way.

Our bus driver today had a major shock – he said several times that in 15 years of driving he has never had anything like this happen.

I’ve been thinking about this all day, and really it was very upsetting. While I believe the mentally ill man was in no condition to understand the impact of his actions on others, I am sure I would have been traumatized for a very long time if I had been on a bus that killed someone, suicide or not.

Not only did the bus driver’s quick reflexes save the life of that poor man, he kept all the passengers safe, and as one of the other passengers said to me “now that man can get the help he needs”. This other passenger saw the man as he dashed in front of our bus, and she said he looked very determined.

I want you to pass along my thanks to the driver this morning – I wish I could give him the medal that he deserves.

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The Hero who Saved a Life

Just a few days ago, somebody in Victoria was so desperate that he decided to end his own life. Sure, you think this happens, but what does it have to do with transit? Well, this poor soul was ready to end his life under the wheels of a double-decker right in front of the Jubilee Hospital. I was on the bus number 14, going down Richmond, when out of nowhere, a man jumped into our path, hoping to end his misery. The bus driver knew what to do and how to do it. We had traffic ahead of us, behind us, there was a bicycle and this man just wanted to die. The bus driver stopped in time, made sure we would not be hit and saved this man’s life. He did not panic, just pulled over where it was safe. Luckily, the police was close by, so the bus driver told us he was going to talk to the police and then came back to tell us what was happening. He remained calm the whole time, even though I was personally shaken. I saw this man jumping onto the road, saw the look in his eyes and so must have the bus driver, but he knew he was responsible not only for those people on his bus, but also those outside. A split of a second, a blink of an eye, going a little bit faster, putting the attention somewhere else would have meant a disaster. Thanks to the bus driver, this poor soul survived and is getting help. My Friday morning could have turned into a trauma seeing a man taking his own life under the bus, but thanks the hero, it was just a Friday that made me realize how good the bus drivers in Victoria are. It showed me that they are not only good drivers, the are very careful, calm and sometimes even heroes that save lives.

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Thanks, Driver – From Both of Us!

When I was pregnant last year, I tried to ride my bike to work at UVic as often as possible to keep fit, but as the months went by, the hills up to campus seemed steeper! I had never considered using the front bike rack on the bus before, but eventually I thought it might be a good idea to let the bus do the work up the hills. In the beautiful summer weather, riding one direction was better than not at all and allowed me to get some fresh air and fitness each day as I coasted downhill after work.

At around 7 months pregnant, lifting my bike onto the rack became quite awkward, so one morning when the bus driver gestured through the windshield that he could help me, I gladly accepted. The next day, I made sure to catch the bus at the same time, hoping the same driver would be there to help me. I was relieved when I saw him behind the wheel as the bus pulled up and he immediately popped out of his seat to hoist up my bike once again. He did this every morning for several weeks to follow – always with a big smile and a cheery greeting – until I became too big to wobble even downhill on my bike.

I thanked that driver every day for his help but I don\'t think he really knew how much it meant to me to start my day with such genuine, cheerful support of my effort to have fun and stay active during my pregnancy. Without his help lifting my bike, I wouldn\'t have been able to keep riding home for so long. Now every time I get on a bus now with my 6-month old daughter, I hope it\'s him driving so I can introduce her and thank him once again.

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Bus Family of the 07:05 70X

I moved to Vancouver Island in July of 2011 after being offered a temporary job in Victoria. I had just spent 7 very stressful months unemployed and fresh out of grad school. Moving to the Island from the Mainland was a huge change for my partner and I and we were exhausted. When I started my first weeks at my new job, I began taking the 07:05 70X bus from the newly completed McTavish Park & Ride in Sidney. I rode the bus in silent stress and anxiety-riddled anticipation of learning a whole new community, transit route and job. Within a month though, I met my first \"Bus Family\" member, Maureen. She sat next to me most mornings on the bus and we\'d talk about workplace performance, marketing, communications, being women in competitive workplaces and being swimmers. Maureen was the first friend I had on \"The Rock\". Then came the dynamic duo of Maryann and Karen. These two bubbly, smiling, kind ladies began sitting with Maureen and I and soon, we\'d have the whole back of the bus laughing, sharing, talking and contributing. These ladies gave me food to eat when things were financially tough around Thanksgiving. They forwarded me job opportunities, helped me find a doctor in my community (MIRACLE) and made me feel a part of their lives. They are my Transit Heroines because without them, my new life here on the Rock would have been a lot bumpier and had a lot less laughter. I love all three of them and I wouldn\'t have met them without BC Transit\'s 70X.

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Two dollars

And you are aboard a bus on Salt Spring Island. Those nice bus drivers: Dan, Tao, Tony, Brad, Alistair, they stop for you anywhere it\'s safe to pull off the road. I used to walk miles; now I can afford to be lazy and have a ride. Sometimes I just go for a joy-ride.
The buses go to all the harbours on Salt Spring. You don\'t need anybody to drive you to the ferry – or from it. Just \'hop\' on the bus (\'hop\' is not my case – I don\'t hop anymore!)
Where else can you see a beautiful deer by the road from a bus? I think we are very lucky to have them – the buses and the deer.

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Driver on #620 bus Bridgeport

Our daughter is at BC Children\\\\\\\'s Hospital and I go every weekend, from VIC to VAN and return. Left hospital late one night. RAN to the Skytrain station and missed train by seconds. Got on next train. RAN to bus departure level and saw #620 already departed. As bus came around the loop I waved and voiced \\\\\\\"please stop\\\\\\\". This was the last bus for the last ferry to the Island. The driver stopped and let me on and I made the ferry.

Ps…I transit in VIC all the time too.

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Prom Dress Rescued

My 14-year-old daughter was thrilled and relieved when the prom dress she left on a BC Transit bus was turned into lost and found.
She had gone shopping in downtown Victoria with a friend on April 11, the night before the Grade 9 \"prom\" dance.
But when she got home, she realized the shopping bag must have been left on the bus.
I called BC Transit\'s lost and found line in the morning and was told the shopping bag had been turned in.
It took just a minute to collect it and bring it home in plenty of time for the dance.

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On Saturday morning my bus was half-full with passengers reading, texting, or staring out the window. An older man pulled the bell and the driver stopped. The man needed to hold onto the railings and step carefully out the door, then the door closed, but the bus didn\'t move. It turns out the man had fallen as he stepped out of the bus, but none of us had seen. Everyone was still looking around to see what happened when the driver had already unbuckled and gotten out of the bus and walked over to the man still on the ground. He helped him up, brushed him off, and made sure he wasn\'t injured before heading back to the bus.

Victoria drivers are the nicest public service people I have every met and aren\'t afraid to help their passengers. Thanks for being so awesome!

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Tourist rescue

couple of weeks ago one of b c transit victoria drivers hans forsberg was running a 70 express near royal oak when he noticed a vancouver area 20 plus tour bus that had smoke coming from it\'s engine compartment. hans carried on with his route and upon reaching sayward junction saw that the tour bus was stopped with all 20 passengers stranded beside the road. hans realized that there was a good chance that these folks were heading to the ferry terminal, so he pulled over to ask. they were indeed on their way back to vancouver, so he loaded them all into the \"decker\" and conveyed them all to the ferry so that they wouldn\'t be unduly delayed

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