Next Stop, Easier Bus Travel…In Theory

I wish I’d run home and written this post on Thursday night when it happened, It would have been a much more positive post than it is now.

Guelph Transit drivers have finally been ordered to call out stops. So, after they stop at one stop, they call out the next stop so even us blinks can pull the bell ourselves. This will cut back on drivers forgetting we asked for a stop, and other assorted goo. Eventually, there will be an automated system, so drivers don’t have to yell out stops all the time. This’ll be great as long as the automated thingamabob works correctly. There must be a way, the Toronto subways have it.

On Thursday night, I got on a bus where the driver was calling out the stops, and I must have looked like the biggest psycho that ever lived. When he called out the first stop, my face lit up into a giant grin, and I looked for the chord so I could pull the bell. I’ve never pulled it myself since I’m not a good guesser, so I always just told the driver where I want to get off. But now I could pull it on my own! I wouldn’t have to watch the clock to make sure I hadn’t been forgotten. I could just wait for the words that meant my stop. I grinned all the way to my stop, when I pulled the bell, the bus pulled up to the stop, and I went to get off, thanking the driver for doing it. The poor man must have thought I’d lost my mind.

I ran home all full of glee that this was actually going to happen. It was supposed to happen back in July, but all manner of delays pushed it further and further into the future.

The next morning, bright and early, I called the city, and was told by one of the head cahoonas that they have been told to call out stops to the best of their ability, and if drivers don’t call out stops, I’m to call this lady back and tell her. I was pretty excited, and told a few friends the good news. Then I wrote a letter to the editor jumping for joy at the calling of stops and telling the drivers that they may find it annoying, but everyone who does it is awesome. I wish my story ended there, but it doesn’t.

The next day, I took a bus, and the mand didn’t call out a single stop! At the end of the ride, as I was getting off, I asked him why he wasn’t calling out stops. He actually said “Your friend said you were going downtown, so I thought you didn’t need it.” I said the calling of stops isn’t just for me.

I got on another bus, and I said to my friend to not say anything to the driver about where we were going. The driver commented on how sweet my dog was, and then started driving. She didn’t call out stops either! When I was getting off, I asked her to please please call out the stops, since it does make it easier for me and takes the guesswork out of it, and all she did was sheepishly say ok.

So, hmm. Drivers have a little work to do, and it looks like I have a call to make. I’ll probably tell the lady that I already sorta asked the drivers why they didn’t call out the stops and see what she says.

Part of me, all-be-it a very small part, feels bad for being such a nazi about this. I mean, the drivers are for the most part really good to me. I’m afraid they’ll all turn into pricks because I sorta ask them why they’re not doing something they’ve been mandated to do. But that’s where the bigger part of me says “They’ve been mandated to do it! You’re not asking them to go above and beyond what they’ve been asked to do! And it’s not like you’re yelling at them. You just ask them quietly as you leave the bus why they didn’t call out the stops. what’s wrong with that?”

We’ll see how this all goes. One way or another, bus service is going to get easier.

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