Transit Travesty


A teen in Central Saanich on Vancouver Island was refused bus service by BC Transit because he was barefooted. This was at 11:00 in the evening. The supposed reason was “safety”. (How many times have we heard that before.) Here’s the news report on the incident:

It turns out that BC Transit does have a policy requiring shoes, here:

For safety reasons, drivers will refuse service to passengers not wearing shirts and footwear.

Regular readers will immediately recognize that this is based on the standard myths and misconceptions that have been propagated since the 1960s. Glass? Where? Even more so, how would not wearing a shirt be a safety issue? Of course it is not, and this is just the standard excuse to justify the ignorant exercise of authority.

Let me also point you to the blog entry of The Barefoot Professor, Daniel Howell and author of The Barefoot Book. He does a good job discussing the issues.

I would also like to mention that where I live, central Ohio, the bus system for Columbus, COTA, does not have a footwear rule for their system. (In fact, they simply rely on state law regarding behavior on buses. I confirmed this by talking to their legal counsel.) Of course, that didn’t stop a bus driver from yelling at me one day. Fortunately, that time I was exiting the bus, not trying to board it. However, since I am fully aware of my rights for my particular case, if one tried to stop me from boarding, I would board anyways, let them call dispatch (or the cops), and that would lead to a very interesting situation.


7 Responses to “Transit Travesty”

  1. Beach Bum Says:

    From what I have been reading on the internet, it appears that Canadian cities are a bit more hostile to barefooters than most American cities, and in more ways. I read about one complaint where one of those barefoot runner types got on a bus – but he was not really barefoot, he was wearing those Vibrams Five Finger shoes, and the bus driver refused to let him on, saying those were not proper footwear. Then how is it that those 1/4″ straps on flip flops are adequate?

  2. Transit Travesty | Living Barefoot Says:

    […] Transit Travesty: “ […]

  3. Beach Bum Says:

    Amazing that this idiot was so angry that someone was barefoot on a public transport that he had to rant and rave on a blog. What’s it to him? Why on earth would he care? Maybe a bunch of barefooters should bear down on him and slam him. But of course, he will have to save face, so nothing we tell him will convince him. He HAS to come out on top, right or wrong. Shows you how much of this attitude is general public and customer driven, and not just by those in charge of establishments.

  4. Youxia Says:

    Trouble with Ohio if your white you have no rights. None. We are the slaves now.

  5. Bob Neinast Says:

    When we see a comment such as youxia’s, we really have to wonder what reality he is connected to. You can be sure that any transit rule is equally enforced, and to see the enforcement of a ridiculous rule as some sort of racial issue is quite frankly delusional. Not only that, but even a cursory reading of the entry reveals that the incident happened in Canada, not Ohio, and that the transit in Ohio has no such rule.

    Total disconnect.

  6. Beach Bum Says:

    And of course, Youxia’s totally non sequitur comment will remain, and he will not see the responses to it, because he just probably quickly posted something ignorant without reading any details, and will never go back to this board to see what others think of his response. That type is too reactionary and impatient to carefully read something and then provide a carefully though out response. So he is either of a low level of intelligence or has either a mental illness or personality disorder.

  7. Bob Neinast Says:

    Heh. On the other hand it may not be too bad of an idea to leave such comments, even with their disconnects, lying around. It reminds us barefooters of yet another source of some of the opposition to us. It demonstrates to us that there really are people out there incapable of logical thought. They may even be the sort of people who, when they see one of us in a store, do the hit-and-run with store management.

    Or I may be over-analyzing this. 🙂

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