Reader to Reader

I was one of a handful of riders on a southbound Lincoln Avenue bus last Wednesday afternoon. As we crossed the river at Michigan and turned onto Wacker Drive, a young man with a white cane started to rise from his seat.

“Wait, wait,” the driver said, extending his arm to prevent the passenger from exiting. The driver completed the turn, parked the bus, and escorted the young man outside.

The driver didn’t return for a long time. The five or six of us who remained shifted in our seats, wondering why we’d been abandoned. Then someone spotted the driver. He was back at the corner of Wacker and Michigan, crossing the intersection with the young man. Then the driver bounded back to the bus.

“That was very nice, sir,” one rider called out to him. “God bless you.”

“Thank you, thank you,” the driver responded, smiling and nodding to his audience. Passengers continued to praise his chivalry all the way down State Street. At Monroe, one of the witnesses said her piece as she stepped to the curb. I didn’t catch her comment, but the driver’s response was loud and clear.

“9801! 9801!” he yelled after her, indicating the badge pinned to his sleeve. “I’ll write it down for you!”