DYK Post

Bus Driver Hits Brakes and Speeds up

It is Saturday, May 4, 2019. And I decided to transfer to my powered wheelchair and go pickup a litre of matte medium for a painting. The day was quite beautiful on my way to 111th Ave. and 124 St. bus stop. I was on a number 5 Westmount bound, heading north from 95th St. and Jasper Avenue. I was behind the driver in the wheelchair section. With replaced brakes I could sit back by lifting both seats and see. It was a nice change from being cramped up facing a back rest. I have been shying away from facing the other passengers. The trip was fine.
Returning home from 111th Ave. and 124 St., the number 5 Coliseum bound bus stopped shortly after 3 PM. I parked my powered wheelchair again behind the driver’s side. But this time I parked right in front facing the backrest. The bus left the bus stop normally.

We approached 107 Ave. and the bus was speeding up after leaving each bus stop. It was going so fast. My powered wheelchair tipped backward over the anti-tip castors. I thought I was going to hit my head on the floor. I grabbed the handrail. After it was safe, I backed up all the way to the upturned seat behind me to prevent me from tipping over again. Then almost at the same time the bus stopped so fast at all of the next bus stops that I was slipping forward more at each progressive stop. After we turned the corner from 124 Street, the next stop, the bus stopped so fast that my powered wheelchair slid forward 6 feet right into the aisle way about 6 inches away from a man’s ankles. The blade like foot rests are like square shovels behind my arches. I panicked and in a loud voice told the bus driver I slid all the way to the front. He let down the ramp at the next stop. I repeated that he was stopping so fast that I was sliding into the aisle.

Some man fighting with his wife whom said he was drunk .
He shouted in my ear, “I wasn’t the only one on the bus!” and “I bet you’re good at doing that to everybody! Leave the driver alone, he’s trying to do his job!”
The rest is not worth mentioning, except the puzzled face in the rear view mirror.
It happened before on a number 5 with a younger driver. But he could hear me and eventually slowed down.
This is not just an incident it is an issue.
Thank you for reading this.



1 Response

  1. heyimdick says:

    sorry this is how public transit is when you are a wheelchair user. You will get better at positioning your chair into a spot where it can’t move when other drivers decide to cut off the bus and slam on their brakes. Try to always get the spot behind the driver and back into the large pad, hopefully close enough to use it as a headrest (assuming your chair fits and your powerchair doesn’t have a headrest of its own).

    Still beats sitting at home with no paint.

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