5 Things I've Learned from Taking Brampton Transit
I’ve been taking Brampton Transit for almost six years now and, as surprised as I am to say this, I’ve learned a few lessons from the struggle.
I’ve been through the late buses, standing on the bus, sitting on the bus, not making it onto a packed bus, missing my stop, the Zum, the construction of new shelters and terminals, bumming rides off of people who have cars, and trying to be on time if not early for things although I take the bus. I’ve been taking Brampton Transit since before Presto was a thing. I guess you could say I'm kind of a pro.
Here are five things I’ve learned in my seemingly never-ending years of experience taking Brampton Transit.
When you take the bus, you’re forced to wait through rain, snow, and smouldering heat for a bus that may or may not show up. I’ve learned that the bus times blur together and Google Maps is unreliable, especially during rush hour. I’ve turned into someone who’s pleasantly surprised when a bus shows up on time. The brunt of how long bussing takes is largely due to wait times, and I’ve learned patience through the fact that it takes double the time to get somewhere by bus than it does by car. Taking the bus has taught me that sometimes, things in life don’t go as expected, and all you can do in those times is stay calm, just like you would waiting for the 502 in a snowstorm, or when a driver speeds past you instead of stopping to pick you up.
Before I started taking the bus, I honestly couldn’t tell North from South. Even in my first year of taking the bus, when I was lucky enough to bum a ride from someone, I couldn’t direct them to my house for the life of me. I’m going to embarrass myself completely by also saying that I didn’t even know what major intersection I lived near, and I’ve been living in Brampton for 16 years now. Now that I’ve taken transit for years and grown up (somewhat), I know a lot of the streets in Brampton, how to get home from tricky areas on the bus or via car, and I use landmarks for compass directions - Square One is North! I also know which bus will get me to which area in Brampton, and, yes, what my major intersection is.
The more I've taken Brampton Transit, the more I've seen how everyone needs to be more courteous, which has made me more courteous, especially on the bus. It's so important for the front of the bus to be accessible seating for people with strollers, mothers-to-be, the elderly, and people in wheelchairs, or need a device to help them walk, like crutches. The number of times I've seen people sitting in the front seats and not getting up when someone else needs them is aggravating. Or, people who have their bags on the seat beside them when the bus is packed. I've learned to always keep my bag on my lap when the bus is packed and always give up my seat for someone who might need it more. Bonus: I’ve learned to say thank you to kind drivers.
2. The value of a hot shower.
There is absolutely no feeling as good as taking a steamy shower after being on the bus all day. Brampton Transit buses are packed with people, grime, and all sorts of smells. Passengers are prone to get up close and sweaty, and every time I step off of a packed bus, I feel like I need a shower. We’ll never know how many bottoms have been on a seat before ours, or how many unsanitized hands have touched the poles before ours, but what can be said is that a hot shower helps to forget about aching, sweating, and sharing people’s germs on a Brampton Transit bus. A hot shower, one that you can feel in your core, hopefully with a lot of soap and scrubbing after a long day of bussing, might actually be the answer to all of life’s problems. Or, at least, to feeling gross after taking Brampton Transit.
The number one thing I've learned hands down is to be grateful. I know that when I finally manage to get a car, I'm going to value every drive I take in my fragrant, air conditioned and heat-equipped vehicle, every time I sit in my car so conveniently in my driveway instead of having to walk to the bus stop and wait, every location I get to in half the time it takes on the bus, and every transfer I don't have to make. Moreover, I feel grateful to have access to transportation like we do in Brampton, whether that's by bus or by car. Taking Brampton Transit definitely built my backbone, but I'll be even more thankful when I don't have to do it so often!
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