Reader Cy Goldsbie sent us this tale of a bus ride to remember:
Boarded the southbound Leslie bus at Leslie subway station as usual at 7:30 on a Tuesday morning earlier this month and, as is my habit, continued reading my book. As we’re about to pull out of the station, the driver stops, looks around, and casually asks if anyone knows which way he’s supposed to turn. The half dozen riders look up, and then at each other with the quizzical look of those who aren’t sure whether to believe their own ears.
A guy at the front who’s in a position to affirm what the rest of us thought we heard, advises the driver to take a right on ‘Old Leslie,’ which is correct, and off we go. Approaching Leslie St., the driver again asks for directions, just as he sails past the turn he was supposed to make to get to his first southbound stop at North York General Hospital, which now puts the bus in the left turn lane onto northbound Leslie. Waiting for the light to turn green, he contemplates whether to ignore the lane he’s in and drive straight through the intersection, a move which would take him into NYGH and back on route but rather now as a northbound bus rather than a southbound.
As we wondered where our ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ would lead and whether our driver had ever operated anything other than a subway or streetcar, a mother in the back of the bus who’s desparately trying to control four rambunctious kids on their way to their first day of school, anxiously asks whether this bus goes to Eglinton. To which we could only reply that ‘We hoped so.’
As the light turns green, the driver goes north on Leslie, then west on Sheppard and finds his way back to Leslie station, which we sail past. Continuing, he manages to find the correct turn into NYGH, though he can’t find the stop until a passenger points it out.
Moving to the front to explain how to get back onto southbound Leslie, we narrowly avoided the turnoff to the westbound 401 and managed to continue southbound, where I luckily got off two stops later.
I have no idea if any of the other passengers ever arrived at their destination. Perhaps he asked for directions at a gas station. Or perhaps, they’re still riding the bus like that man named Charlie who got on the M.T.A. and never returned and whose fate is still unlearned. I’ll never know.
Photo taken on a (different) Leslie bus by Cy Goldsbie.