Bus passengers say new signs could cause hazards in heavy snow
SOUTH BEND —
We got a brief break in snowfall but more is on the way soon.
When snow accumulates like it did a few weeks ago -- it can cause some hazardous conditions for more than drivers. Bus passengers are overcoming obstacle of their own.
In years past, passengers could wave bus drivers down when they needed a ride. But since the new bus stop signs were posted passengers now have to stand by those, which can make it a little dangerous in heavy snow.
"Double layers. Two pants, two shirts, two gloves, hat scarf. Everything,” said Manesha Smith.
Smith uses Transpo Buses every day to get to and from work. She says in recent weeks, the heavy snow made it difficult to get to the marked bus stops.
"You know when the city plows they push all the snow up against the curb. So you can't really stand at the stop. You have to kind of stand in the street, kind of stand on the corner,” Smith said.
She says sometimes when there is too much snow piled on the curb, she has to walk along the road.
That makes it dangerous not only for her, but drivers.
"It's scary because walking in the street and, you know, this kind of weather everybody is not the best driver and it's so easy to slide. You know you try to walk as close to the curb as you can. But it's still really scary. That's why I wear so many bright colors so they can see me,” she said.
Interim General Manager and CEO Amy Hill says they encourage passengers to flag down bus drivers if they can't stand directly next to the sign.
"Number one, is getting as closely to the bus stop location as they can do so safely but just taking that extra step to wave and flag down to make sure the driver does see them. Especially early morning or later evening hours when it's dark outside,” said Hill.
Hill says drivers will be on the lookout for passengers.
"Our operators are also trained to be watching out for our passengers. And they realize that they may need to make some accommodations for stopping the bus to make sure the passenger can get safely on and off,” Hill said.
One passenger says during the heavy snow, bus drivers made sure to drop them off in areas where there were clear spots. She says they've been very helpful during these wintry weather weeks.
Transpo says you may want to think about taking an earlier bus on cold snowy days, since bus drivers might be running a little behind.