Riding The Bus With My Dog

Ever wonder why bus drivers need to announce *every* stop? Here’s a great example.

To conserve energy so I could attend a yoga class, I decided to take a bus one way to the vet’s office. As usual, while swiping my bus card I told the driver my destination. After sitting down, I pulled out my phone to monitor the street numbers as they passed. My first mistake was in putting the phone away just before my destination.

The driver did announce all the stops, which had me convinced she would also indicate the one I needed, even if she forgot I wanted it. That was my second mistake.

She didn’t announce my stop nor did she stop. When she announced the stop after mine, I called to her, “I wanted 39th?” I think her response was simply saying she’d gone past.

When I got off, I inquired, “How many streets back is the stop I wanted?”

“You should cross the street and take the other bus back,” she replied.

“Don’t have time. Do you know how many?”

“Two or three maybe. Sorry,” was her answer, with the apology covering either her lack of knowing or her mistake or both.

Armed with this wealth of information, Camille and I began walking. About the time I reached the second intersection, it dawned upon me that I would need to cross either on or off ramps for a highway. Having never done that in my entire life, I was a bit…. concerned. With a crosswalk and light, it was probably one of the safer ways to cross an off ramp, but without an audible signal, it was still daunting. I spent a long time listening to the traffic pattern trying to figure out how you timed things.

I have to say that my little black dog was awesome. I might have been flipping out, but she was a total pro.

And then we had to do it again on the other side of the overpass.

Bus drivers are suppose to announce *all* stops whether they pull up to take on or disgorge passengers precisely so that blind people can get off where they wish. This driver’s mistake put me in a pretty unhappy situation only mitigated by the fact that my dog is good at her job.

One thought on “Riding The Bus With My Dog

  1. Damn, that stinks. Those stop announcements are helpful for almost every bus rider, and in particular, for those of us who are new to riding buses in general or in this town or are on a bus wrapped in an advertisement (which makes the windows very dark, and you can barely see the streets outside), or who want to read our books or e-readers or talk to our kids.

    Congrats for crossing the on/off ramps. One of my regular destinations requires me to cross one of each. I’m sighted and my wheelchair goes 8mph, yet I have to nerve myself up each time.

    Our bus company installed automated stop announcements. Unfortunately, they are not “next stop,” announcements. Instead they announce the *current* stop as the bus passes In your case, the bus would say “37th at Smith Street” and you’d ring, because the next announcement is “39th at Jones Street” and if you ring right there the driver will holler at you, “can’t stop in time, get off at next stop.”

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