A Vernon bus driver received a shout-out from BC Transit after he took the time to help a person in need.
BC Transit released a series of short videos this week showcasing a few of the province’s dedicated drivers ahead of Transit Drivers Appreciation Day on March 18. Two Vernon transit drivers were highlighted in the series.
In a video published to YouTube March 10, Don LaRocque tells the story of how he stopped and waited for a woman who was chasing his Number 3 bus.
“I pulled over into the bus stop and waited for her,” LaRocque says. “When she got really close to the bus I got out of my seat and went to ask if she needed a hand, because it looked like she was ready to collapse.”
A transit driver since 2013, LaRocque says he helped the struggling woman into the bus. Before she left at her stop, she paused to repay him with some kind words.
“She called me an angel just before she left the bus, so I felt really good about that,” he said.
Expressions of appreciation didn’t stop with the lady in need. The rest of the passengers on the bus also took a moment to let LaRocque know his kindness didn’t go unnoticed.
“I carried on, and every other passenger that I had on board when they got off also congratulated me for doing the good deed that I did. It’s moments like this that remind me of why I became a bus driver.”
BC Transit’s video series also shined a spotlight on Vernon HandyDART driver Clint Croteau, who began driving for the door-to-door transit service in 2014.
In the video posted March 9, he explains why driving HandyDART is the perfect job for him.
“I feel like I’m making a difference in somebody’s life,” he says.
“My dad was a big believer in ‘love what you do or do something else,’ and it took me a long time to find this, and I found it and it was just like the perfect fit.”
The HandyDART service is essential for residents with limited mobility and no other means to commute within their community.
“If (HandyDART) didn’t show up and pick them up, a lot of these people would never leave their house,” Croteau says. “We’re there to get them out.”
Transit Driver Appreciation Day takes place annually on March 18. Communities will join BC Transit to help celebrate the occasion by handing out thank-you cards to customers to share with their local transit drivers. Vernon is among the list of participating communities.