It used to be when an elderly person who has difficulty walking got on the bus, the driver would wait while they found a seat somewhere in the front vicinity of the bus – they would sit in said seat for the entirety of their journey, then wait until bus has fully stopped at their desired stop before making their way off the bus (usually by the front doors so the driver can do the bus lowering thing). Not so anymore friends, not so.
I have been noticing that more and more elderly people are getting up out of their seats before the bus has fully stopped. Now I realize that this is completely normal for about 85% of the bus riding population, but it’s a bit different when it’s an elderly person who isn’t that steady on their feet. Because I don’t know about you, but the buses I take are not known for always gliding smoothly to a stop, which, really isn’t conducive to little old ladies and men standing up and walking around while the bus is still in motion. I’ve seen several younger able-bodied people stumble and nearly fall (myself included) when the bus stops suddenly, so it stands to reason that someone who is perhaps not as spry as they once were could be seriously hurt if they were to go flying due to a sudden stop.
Yesterday I witnessed not one, but two elderly people on the b-line unsteadily making their way to the doors before the bus stopped. I have to admit it was kind of nerve wracking and I was pretty sure one of them was going to completely bail – one of them had a walker for pete’s sake!! Luckily everyone made it out alive (and without breaking a hip) despite their brazen ways.
I realize that there could be a perfectly good reason for this dare devil behaviour – maybe the lady with the walker was late for an appointment or once wasn’t able to get off the bus in time at her stop or the driver had already closed the doors before she was able to leave, etc, etc… but here’s a fun little tidbit of advice: if you need a walker to get around at the best of times (ie on flat, non-moving ground) it is probably best NOT to try and dash around in a moving vehicle. People are usually quite understanding if you’re a minute or two late to an appointment when you’re over 70, especially if you have a walker. Moreover, if you sit at your designated area at the front of the bus the driver will hear you tell him you want to get off at a certain stop – there is no need, I repeat, no need to risk injuring yourself to shave 10 seconds off your ‘disembarking bus’ time.
But who knows, maybe this is just some sort of extreme sport for the elderly – gotta get your kicks somehow I guess…