Taking the bus or train is a mundane routine for many of us. Sometimes, when there are delays in the arrival or an unexpected breakdown of such public transportation, we get annoyed or even angry at the drivers or transportation companies. But how many of us have ever thanked them for fulfilling their responsibilities of arriving on time, or for driving safely?
Over in Taichung, Taiwan, a bus driver went the extra mile to help a blind commuter onboard and off the bus, winning some unexpected praise and commendation from passengers and netizens on Taiwanese forums.
A commuter, Debby, was on her usual bus ride home on the Feng Yuan Ke Yun Bus 12, a local public bus that runs through Taichung City in central Taiwan, when the bus driver suddenly stepped on the brakes, causing the vehicle to abruptly jerk forward. For a moment, passengers onboard were confused and worried, wondering if the bus had run down a pedestrian. Amidst the speculative murmuring of the passengers, the bus driver, Mr. Julong Chen, stood up from his seat and got off the bus. Curious, the commuters glanced out of the windows and noticed a young man standing at the bus stop holding a white stick and a piece of paper that had “12” written on it. The passengers fell silent as they watched Mr. Chen guide the man on to the bus and to an empty seat.
The blind man thanked the driver and meticulously kept his “12” sign in his bag like it was a precious piece of treasure. To him, that piece of paper was probably a treasure indeed, as without it, he wouldn’t be able to get home. Unlike most of us, he can’t wave down the correct bus, and even if a bus stopped in front of him, he is unable to tell if that’s the bus he should be taking. Who knows how many bus 12’s had zoomed past him without noticing that he was actually waiting to get on!
When the bus had arrived at the young man’s intended destination, Mr. Chen once again rose from his seat and walked over to the man, patiently and carefully helping him alight from the bus. The young man sincerely and repeatedly thanked the kind driver three times in a row, before going about on his own way.
Touched by the bus driver’s kindness, Debby made a detailed writing of what she witnessed on Facebook, which was later reposted on local forums and websites, and gained massive popularity among Taiwanese netizens, praising Mr. Chen for his caring actions.
▼ Bravo, Mr. Chen!
When interviewed, Mr. Chen appeared somewhat shy, humbly saying that he was only doing his job, and that he felt a little embarrassed to be receiving such praise online. He also mentioned that this was an unforgettable experience for himself as well, as this was the first time he had come across a commuter signaling for a bus with a signage in his 12 years of work as a bus driver. Even Taichung City’s transportation authorities were moved by Mr. Chen’s actions, and have officially commended him together with 10 other public transport drivers for service excellence.
Although there is nothing wrong with expecting good service for something we, as consumers, are paying for, sometimes there are more meaningful things to look out for apart from punctuality and efficiency. Money does make the world go round, but kindness makes the world a better place for everyone, and a little kindness goes a long way!