Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Bus driving

        Well its my 1 year anniversary driving conventional or big buses for BC transit. I started almost 2 years ago [this coming June] driving for BC transit on the small shuttle buses. I really enjoyed driving the shuttle buses but the work wasnt that good so i stayed on the on call list which meant I had to call in every day to pick work for the next day. Most times it was better than if I had picked regular work for the term. Calling in every day sucked because even on your second day off you had to call in for your next days work. I would always take later work or straight pieces with no split in the middle. If I had to have a split I took the shortest amount of time between the work but some days it was 4 hours i had off in between. On those days I could drive home since my work was in Langford and I live in Esquimalt. I always worried that there would be a problem on the road and I wouldnt make it back in time. That would be called a sleeper another term for being late. Most of the senior guys here are not going anywhere so you pretty much sit where your sitting till they retire and you move up the chain a little.

           When I first started I had stated that I had no plans of moving up to conventional. A lot of the drivers lower than me moved up as soon as they could so they now have more seniority than me. After my second sign up and talking to other drivers i decided to put in for the transfer. They say that there are over 100 drivers eligible for retirement in the next year. I was nervous about moving up but not because the bus was much larger but I would have to learn a lot more routes and not being from Victoria and the way streets are named it wasn't easy for me. Here's an example when driving the #26. You drive up Burnside and make a left onto Harriet which turns into Bolskine which turns into Saanich and then you have to make a left turn onto Sannich. The street your on does not end where you turn it just changes to another name, which I believe is Tatersal, all in the matter of about 10 blocks. The street does wind a bit but there are no sharp 90 degree turns where you would think ok this is a new direction maybe we should change the name of the street. To be honest in the shuttle bus you get to know the passengers a bit better because they are all sitting pretty close to you. I never really had any problems that i can remember other than one guy who was going to Mechosin late at night and had 5 or 6 bus passes that were probably stolen and was trying to hide them as he swiped them trying to find one that worked. He was quick but i could see all the cards he was holding. I eventually told him just to take a seat. He was acting weird as I kept watching him in my mirror and i figured he was on some sort of trip. Half way to Mechosin he was the only person left and he was still acting weird. You go out one road do a U turn then cut across a gravel road to go out and do another U turn and head back to town. Its the 2 main roads and one ends at the prison which is on the end of the point and on the ocean and the other ends at the ocean i presume. I should mention that it had snowed so there was a couple inches on the ground. While on the gravel road he started to scream let me out let me out so I stopped and opened the door. I told him to watch his step but he jumped off the bus, fell, rolled in the snow and got up and ran away screaming. I watched him a bit to make sure he was ok then finished my trip back to the Langford Exchange with an empty bus.

         I always got lots of compliments from passengers and had a few regulars that would give me chocolates or candy. There was a handy capped guy that i got to know and he would stop by at the Langford exchange and sit on the bus and chat with me on my break. He would be waiting for the Langford meadows bus to take him to have dinner at his parents. Been a long time since I remembered him and pretty sure his name was Eric. Had a few drunks that I had never seen before but they told me i was their favorite bus driver lol. Just happy to get home safe I guess.

3 Comments:

At Wednesday, April 15, 2015 4:07:00 AM, Blogger Rhondi St. Onge Peacock said...

Not long and boring at all Kevin. I enjoyed it very much! :)

 
At Wednesday, April 15, 2015 7:29:00 AM, Blogger Peggy Christine Skinner said...

Interesting read. Bet you meet a lot of unique people. I checked out the castle pics. Loved them.

 
At Wednesday, April 15, 2015 5:56:00 PM, Anonymous sista #1 said...

Not at all boring , really thought it ended to soon tho ......lol

 

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