“Move to the back of the bus”

“We’re going to get to know each other a little bit better.”

The day after one of our snowstorms – snow in upstate New York in February? – a lot of us were taking the CDTA bus. Maybe some had safe parking spots they didn’t want to move from, while others perhaps had not dug out.

Someone had shoveled the snow in front of the bus kiosk. Unfortunately, the bus stopped beyond the kiosk, and we had to climb over a snowbank to get to the bus entrance. To his credit, the bus driver did apologize.

We’re going down Western Avenue. All the seats are filled. But the folks standing in the aisle only go to the rear exit of the bus, about 2/3s of the way back. I understand it, sort of; they want to be able to get off easily.

But we got to a stop around Quail Street, and at least a half dozen people couldn’t get on the bus. If the bus driver told the folks to move back, as drivers are wont to do, I didn’t hear him.

As those folks were left at the curb, this young blonde woman, probably in her mid-20s, worked her way to the back of the standees and chastised them for not moving to the back of the bus to make room for more passengers. “Do you understand what you did?” she said, very directly, to a couple of folks. “Those people are STUCK out there, in the cold.”

Then she took on the tone of a camp director. “We’re all going to move back to make room for others. We’re going to get to know each other a little bit better.” And instead of yelling at her, they actually did what she told them.

I was in awe.

As more people departed, she was seated, and I moved up to congratulate her on her moxie. She said, “Well, you in the back supported me.” I assume it was when she mentioned the stranded passengers being cold, I added from the rear of the bus, “And probably late for work.”

Anyway, I thought it was an impressive feat on her part.

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