I am writing because of an awful experience that I had with my three young children on a public bus recently. I am very concerned about the type of service rendered by our public bus system.
On Friday July 17th, what was supposed to be a delightful bus experience for my children, turned out to be a nightmare. I had dropped off my car to be cleaned and was waiting for my husband. However, he called to inform me that he was caught up in performing a procedure, and it would take awhile before he picked us up. I decided to take the public bus service. I thought this would have been a wonderful experience for my three small children. They were very excited about this new venture.
We took the 10a bus N28. When we arrived at our drop off point, my daughter, who is a special needs child, was hesitant to get off the bus. The driver became infuriated and began shouting at me to get of the bus.
I tried to explain to him that my daughter was a special needs child, and I needed a minute in order to coach her to get off. He then shouted out, ‘your daughter look like a patient. I don’t have time for any [EXPLETIVE] patient today. Please get off my bus.”
I attempted to get him to understand, but he became more verbally hostile. He then shouted to my two small boys “get back inside I don’t have time for this [EXPLETIVE].” He then shouted to me “sit down! I am dropping you at another bus stop. Take another bus.” He pulled off even before I had a chance to sit down.
During his rude and indignant behavior, I just said a prayer, asking God to protect my children and to keep me calm. I could have reacted, but I was mindful that I am constantly trying to teach my boys about conflict resolution and when to walk away especially when someone is unreasonable.
He drove us all around, passing several bus stops. Finally he stopped in front of Breezes and told us “get off here.” I felt humiliated as a citizen, a mother and as a woman. We walked across the street and took a taxi cab home. My 4 years old son said to me, “Mummy that man talk to us like an animal.” This experience has had a very negative effect on my children.
I suspect that I am only one of many citizens who are treated in an indignant and inhumane manner. Hardworking Bahamians should not have to endure such treatment by our public bus service. Greed and lack of compassion seem to replacing common courtesy and empathy for one another.
I am calling upon the government to seriously consider urgently a national transportation service operated by the government. One that can be properly monitored and regulated.