A B.C. bus driver‘s care for his passengers is getting a lot of love online after a short video of his impassioned speech was posted to social media.
Travelling Interior highways during winter can be daunting at times, especially the Okanagan Connector, with weather warnings regularly being issued because of heavy snowfall.
“It’s bad weather,” the bus driver can be heard telling his passengers.
“It’s winter. I don’t care how long it takes to get over there. All I care about is your safety. That’s it.
“So if I gotta go 30 km/h all the way to get to Merritt, and it takes me five hours to get there, that’s what we’re doing folks.
“Because I’m not going to risk your lives.”
By car, the 125-km trip between Kelowna and Merritt takes around an hour and thirty minutes.
By bus, depending on the destination in the Kelowna area, Ebus time estimates range from 2:05 (airport) to 1:10 (West Kelowna).
The video had 715,000 views as of Thursday afternoon, and more than 800 comments, with scores complimenting the driver.
“At first, I was worried his next words were going to be maybe that we weren’t able to make the trip,” Lexi Reid told Global News on Thursday.
“But after he finished speaking, he made me feel very safe and comfortable.”
Reid said other passengers began thanking him for creating a safe space.
“You could tell the other passengers felt protected and a lot of stress was lifted off our shoulders by having such an amazing driver,” said Reid.
Global News reached out to Ebus, who identified the driver as Troy Ryersee.
“The comments made by Troy, our operator, didn’t surprise me,” said Glen Desjardine, B.C. operations manager for Ebus. “I’ve worked with Troy for a good number of years.
“What did surprise me is all the positive feedback from the TikTok video itself.”
In fact, Desjardine said people have phoned the Ebus call centre to compliment the company’s services.
“For something like that to go as viral as it has, it’s quite a shock,” said Desjardine, adding he’s seeing comments from people abroad and overseas commenting on their bus drivers and customer-service levels.
“It’s a feel-good story from our point of view to see that people recognize their bus drivers and their efforts.”
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