When the snow falls in Vancouver – as it has this January – the transit drivers have their work cut out for them.
They navigate challenging roads, where vehicles slide at odd angles, despite the City‘s good work clearing the streets. More passengers than usual line up at snow-lined bus stops, tracking mush into the aisles, taking extra time to get their fares out as they struggle with mitts and gloves.
One driver described an aspect of his job I hadn’t thought about. He wrote on Facebook: “I’m off to work. Tonite will be one of those nights where I got dozens of people just looking for a warm place to thaw out for a few minutes. I am glad I can help.”
Efforts from drivers like this are not going unnoticed. One passenger reported, via Facebook: “I found the bus drivers jovial and helpful – as always – but extra nice when it’s actually kinda stressful to drive in these conditions.”
@Translink on Twitter
Stressful indeed! Translink – employer of the bus drivers – posts regularly on Twitter, so I checked out their tweets to see if I could find out what it’s like for the hard-working bus drivers of Metro Vancouver. But mostly @Translink was updating passengers on things like “Skytrain is experiencing delays of approx 15 minutes due to a mechanical issue, Sorry for the delay.”
I posted on Twitter, via @SpeakingofSafety: “I’m writing a blog post thanking bus drivers in the snow. It looks stressful to drive, but they seem very skilled. Kudos!”
The Translink employee writing on behalf of his organization responded: “Thank you for taking time out of your day to do that; they do work very hard especially on days like this.” Then he (or she) got back to the busy job of responding to individual’s complaints about their travels – like this one, in response to someone who tweeted “screw Translink” and said they’d been waiting 20 minutes: “Sorry you are waiting in the cold, where are you I can check for the closest 41?” came the reply.
Bus driver safety
I’m going to follow up on this with a story on bus driver safety. How do they prepare for driving in these conditions? How do they prepare for and deal with other safety issues, like violence?
If you’re a bus driver and you have a story to share about how you stay safe at work, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.