On the buses

Amazing! The folks running the transit system in Greater Victoria came up with this fine idea that drivers should make an announcement just before the bus arrives at a designated stop. It would, said the wise ones, enable passengers, even visually handicapped ones, to gather their belongings and be ready to hop off the second the bus stopped.

The driver would make the announcement via a hand-held microphone.

Simple, especially while driving down Douglas Street at any time of the day let alone rush hour. Simple, in a day when other authorities are seeking to end the rash of accidents being caused by drivers more intent on clicking their smart phones than they are on other highway traffic.

It’s true that Transit’s heavy thinkers have since withdrawn the hand-held mike idea – but only after drivers pointed out the hazards. And the embarrassed withdrawal – at least I hope it was embarrassed – doesn’t detract from the cluttered first thoughts.

I can only assume the Transit “thinkers” have never ridden “The BUS” in Hawaii where every stop is announced well ahead, not by the driver but by an automatic computer controlled system. Works like a charm. Hear your stop announced, pull the overhead chord and seconds later get off right where you want to be.

A similar system is used on trains in the UK but with an added wrinkle: You get the automated announcement, plus the flashing, streaming,  name of the station stop.

It must be something in Victoria’s water because whether we in the Capital Kingdom are considering bridges, sewage treatment or improved transit systems, we seem incapable of rationally considering how others faced and resolved similar problems – years ago.

Wake up guys and gals, there’s a whole world out there willing to show you the way.


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