Thursday, October 06, 2005

Riding on a TTC Bus

I had no idea the bus would be this crowded. It was going to outer suburbia, and I'd always heard that suburbanites use cars and eschew the filthy confines of TTC transport.

I followed the herd on and found a spot just past the end of the front bench, in front of a handy pole. Jackpot. A blind man sat on the end of the bench with his black lab guide dog on the floor in front. She stretched her legs out, sort of towards the back but a bit diagonally, and an equally oblivious teen stopped on the other side of her, head planted in his music, back to the crowd, just in the right place to force people to walk over the legs of the lab instead of around her. But she worried not about a typical unobservant Torontonian stepping on her toes. The blind man eventually realised she was sticking out a wee too much and apologetically tried to make her footprint smaller to the crowd. She moved her butt under the seat, turned her head to look across the aisle, aimed her legs that way, and crossed them, almost tripping up a large woman.

Meanwhile, the bus driver honed his car racing skills, timing his acceleration to obtain maximum pull around corners and minimum time between stops. He had no focus left to call out each stop -- although he once made an effort to powerfully tell everyone to MOVE BACK -- to which an equally powerful voice said NO ROOM -- so every now and then the blind man fretted about where we were and asked the nearest person squeezed between his dog and the teen if we had gotten to his stop yet. Finally he could take the suspense no more, got up, and pressed through the crowd up to the driver, where he planted himself and his laid-back lab against the fare box. For sure now, the driver would have to tell him when he got to his stop. Just in case though, he checked with the driver every time the bus stopped. The poor driver must've needed a drink to lubricate his ill-used vocal chords by the time the blind man got off.

Just another ride on the TTC.

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