I’m glad to hear the looming transit strike may not happen – because there’s way too many people who rely on transit. People who don’t have cars: people who have cars but trying to reduce their carbon footprint (like me). People who have cars but think gas is way too expensive (like me).
Students. If you ride Route #7 Lansdowne on a regular basis you know when the Fleming students arrive, and leave.Same goes for Trent U. When classes are in the bus is jammed.
If there was a transit strike, I would just hop on the bicycle. But not everyone can. Public transit is, really, an essential service we can’t do without. And I think we have a terrific service, thank you. Unless we’re in the midst of a blizzard or freezing rain storm the bus is on time, and for the most part the drivers are friendly and courteous. Even the few who don’t smile much are as professional as those who do.
Folks who criticize our transit service may have never used it. Others may have used it once and had a bad experience, dismissing the entire service from that one incident. That is far from fair.
I can tell you that having used the P.dot transit service on a fairly regular basis for some ten years, we have a good one. All the buses are modern, and ‘kneel’ when needed. And the drivers are heroes, really – they earn every cent, and have a tremendous responsibility. Piloting those massive beasts isn’t easy (years ago, I saw a driver REVERSE one of those things all the way down Museum Hill during Snofest when she brought up a load of patrons, then couldn’t get around the loop at the top due to the way some people had parked their cars. So she put the bus in reverse and BACKED that baby down…).
I’ve have seen car drivers cut buses off, thinking a transit bus can stop on a dime.
I have seen bus drivers chat up many a rider who looks like they just need a friendly face to listen.
I have seen drivers painstakingly help a wheelchair-bound, scooter-bound rider or senior with a walker and make sure they are strapped in, buckled in, or seated properly.
Drivers also have to, ultimately maintain responsibility for the vehicle and its passengers. That’s a tall order.
Sure there will always be some untoward things that happen. A passenger may get unruly. A bus may be a bit late – especially in times of inclement weather. But in ten years as a frequent rider, I have never seen anything that would cause me to feel disenchanted.
I think our transit service is great. Our drivers are great. And the fact we get pretty much full service on statutory holidays is a bonus.
I hope a strike can be avoided, as too many people rely on our transit service. And the drivers deserve a fair and equitable contract, as they earn every penny.