Thursday, April 25, 2024

AWRIGHT DEN!: Please have a heart

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I WANT TO SHARE my frustration with something that happens quite often in Barbados. It has to do with the inconsiderate actions of some Transport Board drivers.

On too many occasions I have personally observed or have also been told about bus drivers who leave people who are not standing directly at a bus stop. In some cases, they are a few metres away from the stop and hustling to get the bus.

On Tuesday morning, I caught the 6 a.m. ABC Highway bus from Speightstown. It stopped in Warrens to allow passengers to disembark and many to board.

The driver closed the door and as he drove out the bus lane and approached the roundabout, a lady, probably about ten metres from the bus stop, could be seen hustling, with hand waving, trying to alert the driver of her intention to get the bus.

Would you imagine the driver drove to the roundabout and went along and left the woman, who was in working clothes? People who were heading in the other direction and were approaching the zebra crossing stood in amazement that the driver didn’t stop to allow the lady to embark. As the bus went around the roundabout, I could see the woman crossing the road to probably go and take the bus to town to get to her destination. It was about 6:35 a.m.

Since the woman intended to take the bus heading to Oistins, it meant after taking transportation to The City, she would then have to walk from the Lower Bridgetown area to the Fairchild Street bus terminal or the River van stand to get to her destination.

Now there is a possibility that the driver didn’t see her, but since I have seen this very situation happen on numerous occasions, I believe he did. Hopefully the lady is reading this article and can email me and state whether she made eye contact with the driver.

One night while on an 11 p.m. bus to town, I observed a driver pass an elderly woman who was a few metres from the bus stop. The woman was running and it was evident she wanted the bus, yet the driver left her in a dark area alone.

Another night while driving home, I saw a driver pass a lady who was hustling to get to the bus stop a few metres away. I circled the next roundabout and asked her if she would allow me to give her a ride to her destination. She did. 

Here are two experiences shared with me from others:

Lady No. 1: “I just left therapy at the hospital. I couldn’t walk to the bus terminal so a ZR gave me a drop by Queen’s Park to catch a bus. I got out the ZR and a bus was coming as I was making my way to the bus stop just in front of me. You know my situation, I have a disability so I can’t run, so I trying my best to get there quickly while at the same time waving for the bus to stop. As the bus passed me, I could hear people in the bus telling the driver the woman want the bus. When I eventually get by the terminal, a woman there told me the bus driver say that I look young and I ain’t showing nuh effort to run for the bus so he went long.”

Lady No. 2: “I was in a bus a few years back. On his particular day, about five or so persons were at this spot and the rain was drizzling. As we neared the area, a lady put out her hand to stop the bus. The bus driver continued past the spot without stopping. Persons in the bus told the driver the lady put out her hand and his response was [that] he’s not stopping because there is no bus stop there. When told there is a bus stop, but it had just fallen over, he said, ‘She shoulda tek it up and hold it till I stop’.”

I am asking bus drivers to have a heart and be more considerate to people who need the transportation. I don’t know of any individuals who wait for a Transport Board bus other than at a bus stop. If people are running and trying to get to the bus, please, put yourself in their situation.

• Corey Worrell, a former Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, is director of C2J Foundation Inc., a project-based NGO focusing on social development. Email: coreyworrell@gmail.com

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