Going on the Greyhound?

I was taking the bus back home from Toronto the other day, and a couple of things came up.

In North Bay our 35-minute stopover turned into 2 hours. There was a family with a child in a wheelchair, and although they’d booked their trip a month ahead, the mechanics of the wheelchair lift on the bus were not working and mechanical help had to be called in. So the bus’s departure was delayed by an hour-and-a-half.

Not only this, the family with the child in the wheelchair was actually supposed to have departed on a bus in the morning (not 3:30 that became 5 in the afternoon) – but that bus’s wheelchair gizmo hadn’t been working either.

I thought the whole deal was pretty darn outrageous. Not on my account; it didn’t matter diddly to me when I got home – I happily sucked up the extra reading time. There must have been people on the bus who were inconvenienced, though – and what about the Mom and grandmother and two children who were forced to spend the entire day in the bus station – after having made their special reservation a month ahead of time??

Outrageous.

Bad service on Greyhound’s part. Deplorable service.

I’d also overheard on this trip, on the way down to Toronto, that our government doesn’t subsidize the bus industry. I’m quite well aware that they do subsidize – very heavily, I might add – any number of other quite horrendously polluting industries.

Why no support for the bus industry that enables those who do not own cars and those who choose to use public transportation to do our trekking about in less polluting fashion?

I rather reckon this is something of a class issue. A lot of the people who ride buses are probably not in the habit of contacting their MP or MPP to complain about government policies. Our politicians and their families probably never, ever set foot inside a Greyhound bus, hmm?

Well. I’ve spent 20 years now being appalled at what we human beings have been and are doing to our beautiful Earth. I used to be outraged about it – but the outrage wasn’t too good for me.

Now I’m mostly just very, very sad about it all. Don’t misunderstand me, I’ll keep right on doing what I do, with the writing and the activism and the volunteer work.

I do kind of hope there might be somebody out there, though, who’s a little younger, with a little more energy and time, who can muster up some outrage about a family with a disabled child that has to sit in a bus station for a whole day, because the bus company doesn’t maintain its buses properly, and our government, that can’t be bothered to subsidize the bus industry that helps people make environmentally responsible travel choices.

Somebody needs to do some squawking about this, wouldn’t you say?

Janet