December 19, 2014, 12:00 pm
One of our operators receive a hot chocolate and a mug with holiday treats from Van Tech students
It was a rainy Friday morning and by the time 8:35 am bell rang to mark the start of classes, the students were wet and there wasn’t much left of their ‘Happy Holidays’ signs, but that didn’t put a damper on their Christmas spirits! The students braved the rain for over an hour and a half to sing Christmas carols and show appreciation to our bus operators.
For the past 18 years, in December, students at Vancouver Technical Secondary have been giving out hot chocolate and a little gift to each mid-morning bus operator that stops in-front of the high school. (You’ll want to read our post in 2012 for a backgrounder on the event.)
The goodies mug students were handing out along with hot chocolate!
Terry Stanway, the teacher-sponsor for the event the past few years, arrived at the school just before 6 am to prepare for the day.
“Today, started as a day to recognize the service that TransLink, particularly the drivers along the Broadway corridor, provides to our students,” he explains. “The school’s catchment is long and narrow and it expands from Boundary to just about Science World.
“We have a lot of students that depend on transit to get to school. It’s just the one day in the year that we can recognize the roles bus drivers play in getting our kids to school.”
The event is open to any interested students and despite the early start, many showed up to show their appreciation to the operators!
Kyle Hui, a grade 9 student, tells me he arrived just after 6:30 am to help out with today’s event and he says it wasn’t a challenge for him to wake up at all.
Grade 10 student Christine Tam adds, “I usually don’t wake up this early, but it was fun because all my friends were here and we got to do things for the community.”
Kyle, Arlene, Frederick and Christine
Each day, 418,000 people take TransLink transit to get where they need to go and on average, there are over 620,000 boardings on buses each day in Metro Vancouver.
“I think they do a really important job because the elderly and also people like us – we can’t drive yet,” says Frederick Heere, also in Grade 10. “They play the important role of getting us around town because if they weren’t there and our parents can’t take us, then we are stuck.”
Arlene Nguyen, another Grade 10 student, and Christine tell me they really appreciate the bus operators because they are always so nice.
“They always greet you when come on the bus,” says Arlene. “We always say ‘thank you’ when we exit the bus.”
Christine adds, “I was finished this competition and I had a trophy. He asked me, ‘Oh, what was that for?’ and I said my skating competition. He said, ‘Oh, good job! You got third! Good job!’”
“It was so heart warming because he actually cared about me and what I did.”
Plans are already in motion for the 2015 edition of event and I’m told some kind of major celebration is planned for the 20th anniversary in 2016!