Letter: More respect for local bus drivers

I told the driver how very glad I was to see him.

To the editor:

On Saturday I headed out for a morning cup of coffee and a muffin and was looking forward to going to visit my grandchildren in West Kelowna. I use transit as I am at the age that I don’t want to be driving anywhere. I got my coffee and muffin and headed for the bus stop at Mission Park. It seemed like an eternity that I sat there waiting for a bus. I read my paper and finally after a couple of hours of waiting my bus came around the corner. I was almost thinking that it would never come.

I told the driver how very glad I was to see him. The trip went without incident but when I got to my daughter’s house, I told her what happened. She was quite angry about me not having seen a bus for two hours and told me I should complain and share my story and the fact that I lost a few hours of my time with my precious grand children.

When boarding a bus to come home, I shared my story with the driver who said that it was a really bad day and the last due to drivers being sick, three buses didn’t even leave the yard! What? Surely there must be drivers on standby to fill in when others are sick? Isn’t there? Apparently not. He told me that transit in the Okanagan is run by a private company that saves and makes more money when this happens because they don’t have to put fuel in bus that doesn’t leave the yard. This is ludicrous!

This driver said that there were also quite a few drivers that he was aware of that were working on their days off just to make service went on the road. To those drivers that took time away from their families and work their days off to make sure we the people get where we need to go, I commend you.

Maybe the city should be running their own transit service to make sure protocols are out in place to prevent this from happening. Obviously, the private company doesn’t care at all. Or have the company pay driver’s to be on standby waiting to go to work.

My thoughts anyway. I get madder and madder thinking about the fact that I lost two hours of the day with my grandkids and I will never get those two hours back.

Edward St. James,

Kelowna