Think outside the bus, be safe, smart

Editor,

Fall is my favorite season. The leaves are wearing their bright colors. The air is crisp and cool. I love apple cider and pumpkin pie. But it’s a big adjustment going from the bold, bright days of summer to the short, dark days of winter. Fall is that adjustment period and it takes a little bit of thought and effort.

Our daylight hours shrink so quickly this time of year. Soon after Labor Day I started wearing a bright green vest with reflectors while I walked the side roads at dawn and dusk. Now I also carry a flashlight so motorists can see me walking on the shoulder. Friends who do a bus and bike commute use extra lights, reflectors and bright jackets in fall and winter. They share the road with motorists, so it’s even more important for them to be visible.

At the bus stop we push the red button on the light post when we see the bus coming. The flashing light at the top signals the driver 100 yards away and turns off by itself after the bus is gone. Some bus stops don’t have a light post. Then it’s up to the riders to catch the eye of the bus drivers as they approach. Waving a flashlight is essential in the dark. During cloudy days, waving a light or a white hat or even a shopping bag will help the driver see you in time to make a safe stop.

For a limited time, Island Transit is offering free flashlights to bus riders. Just ask your bus operator. It’s a bit of an adjustment going from the bold, bright days of summer to the long, dark days of winter. It requires us to think outside the bus. Don’t be left in the dark. Be safe. Be seen.

Visit www.islandtransit.org for more information on bus schedules, vanpools, para-transit, rideshare rewards and the new Route Shout app that tracks your bus in real time.

MARIBETH CRANDELL

Island Transit mobility specialist