I just got called a “fucking bitch” because I didn’t engage a guy in conversation as he was following me trying to say hello. Then when I told him that that was rude and unnecessary and I just don’t want to have a conversation, he blew up in my face and started yelling at me and calling me names. Then I got on the bus and he did too and he and the bus driver started talking about how rude I was and what a bitch I was and how much of a nice guy that guy is. So I got off the bus and am so pissed off.
I hopped on the 325 bus yesterday outside Chermside Library to head toward Geebung Station when I was told off by the bus driver for not smiling at her. When I realised she was talking to me; as I had wondered in absentmindedly and tapped on without really thinking about it, I went went back to ask her to explain herself to which she demanded I show some polite courtesy and acknowledge she actually stopped to pick me up. When I tried to explain that just because I had forgotten to smile did not give her the right to make snide remarks to a customer she told me and I quote, ” Just remember I did not have to pick you up”. When I asked her what that was suppose to mean she refused to give me an answer instead she requested I take my seat and made an effort to whistle tunelessly for the rest of the journey. I was waiting at the right bus stop, I was not behaving drunk and disorderly, I had tapped on before taking a seat and had only made enquiries pertaining to her offensive behavior. I had to stand in the rain and wait for the bus for 40 minutes because the first bus I hailed down refused to stop for me. So unless I’m mistaken she was implying she didn’t have to pick black people like me up so I should be grateful and keep quiet when she throw jeers at me in front of other passengers. Of course she only gave me a smiled when I asked and refused to say anymore after that so its anybodies guess.
The Saturday before Halloween I was with my friends on the skytrain, on our way to a restaurant. A group of drunken young men, wearing heavy costume makeup were being disruptive, and a general nuisance to everyone on the train. One of them walked up to me and stuck his crotch near my face and started pelvis thrusting. I told him to stop and he laughed and walked away. When we got off at our stop I told the transit security, but instead of taking me seriously, she told me and another woman complaining, to calm down. The transit security did absolutely nothing about the problem letting the drunken men who also got off at the same stop, walk past us and off of the platform. It seems as if during Halloween, people can get away with the most ludicrous behaviour just because they are hiding behind a mask or makeup.
My partner and I are both tall, with blonde hair and glasses. We have been asked on numerous occasions if we’re sisters or twins. One time, just before the Olympics, a bus driver who’d just let us on, asked us if we ever shared the same boyfriend. When I approached him about it just as we were getting off, he tried to excuse himself by saying: “I thought you were twins.” He expected his incestuous three-way fantasy to excuse him from … his incestuous three-way fantasy. How strange.
Last Thursday night (Halloween), my boyfriend and I were taking the #3 bus up Main St. A middle-aged man was sitting in the back of the bus exposing himself in front of young women. When the bus driver was told about the situation, nothing was done.
This happened several years ago, probably on the 99B-line, the #9 Broadway or maybe the #20. I sat in one of the single seats on the side of the bus behind the driver, round about the middle of the bus. I noticed a dirty, dishevelled looking old man in the seat right behind me. For several minutes, his muttering went on in the background of my awareness. Then I realized he was talking to me, using the lewdest language possible to describe me sexually. I was shocked and indignant. I jumped up, ran to the bus driver, and repeated in a very loud voice the things that toad had been saying to me. If I had to hear that filth when I’d just been minding my own business, then I was going to make sure everyone heard it. Some passengers glared at me (as if I was at fault?!) I didn’t care. I didn’t feel at all ashamed or at fault. And I think loudly broadcasting his filth helped me to let it go. All the bus driver did was tell me to sit in a seat close by him.
About 15 years ago, while I was waiting for a bus at Broadway and MacDonald, an old man sat down on the bench at the stop, took his penis out, and started jerking off. He had a huge umbrella strategically placed so the people driving by couldn’t see what he was doing. But I had full view. It left me feeling dirty.
1 – 8 years old, #41 bus in Vancouver, heading West on 41st Avenue, near Dunbar. My mom was at the front of the bus talking to a friend, I went to the middle of the bus and sat down alone. I noticed movement and looked to the left. A man in his 20’s had his penis out in his hand, and it was all red, he was masturbating and leering at me. I went and got my mom and told her I wanted to get off the bus. I didn’t tell her what happened until we were outside so it was too late to alert the driver.
2 – 14 years old, #22 bus-stop, at Broadway and MacDonald, in Vancouver. I was waiting for the bus in my school uniform and a middle-aged man waiting at the bus-stop across the street was masturbating in public with everything showing.
3 – 14 years old, #25 bus, heading along King Edward Ave near Cambie. An autistic man in his early 20’s pulled down his pants and underwear and shouted at me and my friend, waving his body at us.
4 – 15 years old, again, at the bus-stop at Broadway and MacDonald, a middle-aged man, masturbating across the street publicly.
5 – 15 years old, me and all my friends on the #9 Broadway bus, all of us female and wearing kilts. It was stuck turning left up Granville St. and a man started yelling at us for five minutes straight about how we were the “devil” and that we would “go to hell” for being evil girls. The bus driver did absolutely nothing. We were terrified.
6 – 17 years old, waiting for the bus at 6th and MacDonald, at midnight, a man is masturbating in the alleyway near the bus stop and yelling at me to have sex with him. Just then the #22 bus rolls up and I get on. Bertha my favourite “take-no-bullshit” bus-driver is working, I tell her about the man in the alley, and she says that if that ever happens again to flag down whatever bus I can and get on the bus for free if needed, to be safe.
7 – 17 years old, a man is masturbating openly at the back of the bus, somewhere downtown. I stand up and start yelling at him to stop masturbating and I go get the driver to help. The man runs off the bus.
8 – 18 years old, a man on the #9 Broadway bus sits by me and starts talking to me. I don’t want to talk, and he gets angry, and wants to continue to chat me up and get my phone number. I refuse, he continues to get angry in his tone and rude words, calling me names, but still asking for my phone number and my name. I move seats. No one does anything. I hate the bus.
These events all occurred in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Translink needs to pay attention and come up with some solutions. This harrassment and sexual predation on buses needs to stop. Women, everyone, have a right to ride the bus safely.