this topic is so hot it's cool

If you live in the 'Peg, you surely know that there is a current controversy about city bus drivers having to call out the names of the bus stops...effective January 1.

This order came down the Trans Canada in reaction to the situation in Toronto, in which a visually impaired person, whom happens to be a lawyer, sued the TTC because the stops were not being called out. So Winnipeg, decided to be pro-active, instead of re-active. Ok, you could argue that they are still being re-active, but for the purpose of this bit - it isn't important.

Jason and I have been discussing this alteration to his job for the past month. I am all for drivers calling out every stop. Jason is all for drivers calling out the major stops. This hasn't been a topic just for bus drivers to mull over. It has been the subject in a handful of newspaper articles, many letters to the editor, the topic on talk radio, and discussions on Facebook.

I say, "have fun with it", "it's a great idea", "it makes riding the bus more user friendly".

Some bus riders say, "I can't concentrate on my book", "it sounds terrible", and "I can't sleep".

Bus drivers say, "it's a safety issue", "I can't read the list and drive", and "just ask me when you get on to call out a specific stop".

What do you think?



corina said...
January 3, 2008 at 3:21 p.m.

i get the issue of safety and would encourage the transit system to invest in an automated system of some kind...possibly one that also has a digital sign at the head of the bus for those who are unable to hear the announcements.

as for me...i hardly take the bus anymore and when i do i read and listen to my ipod.

Brent said...
January 4, 2008 at 1:50 p.m.

I hate to take sides when it comes to family, but... Jason's wrong.

Calling out the bus stops is friendly, humanizing, and just plain great. When I travel to another city (New york for example) it is so cool that they call out the stops. "Grand Central Station", "Penn Station", "Wall Street", etc.

Why wouldn't it be just as neat to hear Pembina, Tecumseh, or Portage? Is there something undeserving about Winnipeg that makes people embarrassed, not proud to call out the stops?

I would think it would make the whole system more safe - wouldn't it take the driver out of automatic pilot, and add another way to keep them on the ball?

I also think it makes people more aware that there is a real person providing them with this service, otherwise I think people forget the fact that there's a real person driving them around town at 5 AM at minus 40 degrees. Bus drivers should love this idea.


Peewee said...
January 5, 2008 at 1:40 p.m.

Being from Ontario but not hearing of the TTC case, did notice the last time I rode the subway, the stops were announced where the time prior it wasn't. I kind of liked it. There were people reading, talking, sleeping and it didn't seem to bother them. I assume there aren't stadium speakers in the bus screaming stop names at 80 decibels.

As for distracting the drivers, I assume most of them know the names of the stops already. If not, i'm sure that a week of driving most people could learn them. Anyway, that's my two cents since you asked!

Ladyfingers said...
January 9, 2008 at 3:03 p.m.

I'm back & I'm catching up to the blogs.
I can remamber clearly in 1958 when I was 11 having to take the TTC Streetcar from Danforth & Maine to downtown College & University Ave. every Tues. after school for my music lesson at the Royal Conservatory of Music.

The streetcar was always full when I got on & I wanted to remain at the front so I wouldn't miss my stop which was a good 40 mins. of jerking & stopping & subsequent nausea. The "conductor" would call out the stops sometimes in between the nasally crys of "mooove on back". Being not much over 4' tall I couldn't see & would end up in the middle of the bus trying to grab the back of a seat to keep from falling & afraid to put my heavy bag of music and various recorders on the floor.

I was under all of the standing adult armpits because they could grab the high handrail for support. I don't need to say what that was like after a long day at work in the 1950's.

Point is: my absolute saving grace was the conductor's voice yelling out the stops. I learned the name of the 2nd stop before I had to get off and would start making my way to the back door where I could ask someone to ring the bell for me so the streetcar would stop. Thus even though I could see under normal circumstances I couldn't see a thing on the streetcar & relied on that voice.

Sometimes not all of the stops were called out and I would panic so I made sure that when I got on I asked the conductor to please call out mine. Of course the ride was so long that I then feared he might forget.

Oh how I hated Tues. evenings after school. When I won first place at the CNE and the prize was 9 more free lessons....let's just say I was not a happy little girl.

So yes Jason "get over it" and think of how you may be making some people happy and relieving a lot of anxiety. As for the whiners & complainers, whatever happened to compassion for others? Grow up & give up the selfish attitude!

As for the drivers....I don't remember seeing any "list" in downtown T.O. Have a little cheese with your Whine.


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