Monday, October 4th, 2010
“Public transportation has been a big part of my life for 12 years now. Since college, I’ve always relied on public transportation. Now, I work in Silver Spring and live in Adams Morgan. So, not having a car, I’m relying on my feet and on public transportation to get around. One thing that I’ve really appreciated about D.C. is the incredible metro rail and bus system. I think they run efficiently, especially compared to Boston where I was living before D.C.
“The friendliness of bus drivers here is something that many of us don’t acknowledge. The bus drivers in D.C. – it’s like they’re friends with you! It’s pretty amazing. There’s been a lot of times where I’m on the bus and I’ll get into really long, in-depth conversations with my drivers. A couple of my drivers I haven’t seen in a while and I really start to miss them. It is funny the relationships that you have in life. As a commuter, your bus driver is as much a part of your life as anyone else. At the same time, with a bus driver there is that inconsistency as you won’t always have the same driver. But when you do, it is like running into a friend.
“It’s very easy as a commuter to not acknowledge the people whose job it is to take us around. Many of us only acknowledge these people when the bus doesn’t come or is late. Otherwise, we don’t really acknowledge the role that bus and metro drivers play in our lives and how reliant we are on them to function and get us where we need to go. And what a responsibility it is! Unfortunately, because of a couple of accidents lately, that has been more of a conversation, but we put our lives in their hands everyday. We do it without seat belts and they still get us where we need to go safely and on time! And in this city, I find that they do it with a really great attitude.
“There is a guy who drives the S2 or S4 bus. He is the sweetest man. He knows everybody by name and he will greet you like he is your best friend. There is this one mother and young daughter who I see on the bus who always get off past Spring St and 16th Street. The whole way, the bus driver talks to the little girl. ‘Are you excited about school today? Did you read a book last night? Did you like it? What are you going to be learning at school today?’ He really engages this girl the whole time and when she gets off the bus and says goodbye to him, it is like his own granddaughter is leaving. He blows her kisses and she blows him kisses while she walks across the street. That is just a nice way to start your day. I’ve never seen that from a bus driver anywhere else.”