I used to avoid bus travel at all costs. When I used a long cane catching buses was challenging, overwhelming and a little frightening. I had a bad experience early in my independent travel days when I sat on someone’s lap when trying to find a seat. This was enough to shake my confidence and put me off bus travel.
Thankfully those days are well and truly over. Now I have Wiley I love bus travel. I live near a bus stop which has regular buses all day so bus travel is really convenient. Canberra bus drivers are generally helpful and friendly, much nicer than a lot of Sydney drivers I came across when I was living there.
Wiley is great on buses, he will take me to the doors of the bus and wait until people have finished getting off before walking on. I ask him to find me an empty seat and he will guide me to a free seat in the accessible seating area. He then lies down, I tuck him under my seat and he usually falls asleep for the rest of the trip.
Another thing I like about bus travel is the other passengers. There are lots of characters that catch buses, one guy insists my name is Juliet and sings me songs whenever he sees me.
I have got chatting with lots of the people who regularly catch my normal bus, we mostly talk about how Wiley is going and the pet dogs they may have at home.
Nine times out of ten when I turn up to the bay where I catch the bus home someone will approach me, say they have seem me catch the bus a few times before and that they will let me know when my bus arrives. (Lots of buses depart from the same bay). It is a very helpful and considerate thing for them to offer to do.
There have been many bus trips where I have spent the entire time answering questions about Wiley and Guide Dogs in general. I enjoy these conversations and they always make the journey pass really quickly.
Each bus trip is an adventure – it is great to tackle them with Wiley by my side.