I thought I’d share a story of a bus driver who was kind enough to go out his way for me one night.
When I was a 19-year-old student and first moved from Victoria I lived deep in Steveston and there were very few buses that could get me home late at night. Of course I would still go to downtown Vancouver sometimes on the weekend, drink, and take the last possible night bus home by myself. Yes, this could be dangerous activity for a young woman, but violence is never the fault of the victim, no matter what I drank, no matter what I was wearing, no matter how unlit the streets at the end of No.2 road were ten years ago. As far as I was concerned, I wasn’t going to limit my life by fear. I was young and invincible. I had bear spray.
Usually I was the last one on the bus which let me off to walk the twenty minute route home along unlit farmlands. I would at the back of the accordion bus and read a book for the long ride from the city. One night I had missed the last bus that would take me closest to home and had to settle one that would get as close as possible, a forty minute walk.
On an otherwise empty bus, a man came and sat down right next to me, essentially trapping me in the back corner seat. He commented on my outfit. “I like your skirt.” “Are your legs cold?” and eventually, “Where is your stop?” He continued by asking and then telling me to come home with him. I sat upright, I looked at him in the eye, and I kept responding with various versions of “no.” I held back my rapidly beating heart with what I hoped was a cold and strong exterior. I was terrified. My stop came, and I didn’t want to get up. I didn’t want to touch him as I brushed past, and even worse, I was petrified knowing he might follow me off.
Creepy guy eventually left the bus and I got up to ask the driver where this bus went and where we were. The kind driver said that after he got to the last stop he could then drive me all the way home on the bus – and he did. It was hours past midnight, he was at the end of his shift, but he did it anyways, and I can’t thank him enough.
Ever since, when I am the only one on a night bus, I sit right up near the front where the driver can hear and see me.