Dec 7, 2007

DRT employees go above and beyond

Going that extra mile for their customers is a every day occurrence for all DRT employees. This includes everyone from mechanics, to office, to drivers. There are many unsung heros in transit that never get their stories told. Below you will find one of those stories that went above beyond.

When an Oshawa senior found herself stranded on a Durham Transit bus, she didn't know what to do.

That's when three good Samaritans stepped in to help her out.

Esther Pacione's wheelchair lost power while she was attempting to transfer buses at the Oshawa Centre after coming back from the veterinarian in Whitby with her new special skills dog, Pilgrim. Her other special skills dog recently died.

"I was panicking because I couldn't move and Pilgrim is brand new, we haven't even had the chance to bond yet," said Ms. Pacione.

At that point an unidentified mechanic tried to help Ms. Pacione get power to her chair. When it was clear that wasn't going to work he wheeled her off the bus so it could continue on its route.

Once outside, the mechanic went to find help. When he returned he was with Steven Leaper, a supervisor with Durham Region Transit. Luckily Mr. Leaper had an extra driver on standby just in case an extra route was needed during rush hour. Mr. Leaper saw Ms. Pacione was in distress and decided to send the extra driver, Richard Oldfield out to personally chauffeur Ms. Pacione home.

And their kindness didn't end there. Once Mr. Leaper and Mr. Oldfield got Ms. Pacione to her building they helped her off the bus and even called her building's security service to ensure Ms. Pacione made it to her apartment safely.

Mr. Oldfield and Mr. Leaper said it's not totally unusual to help patrons out when they are in desperate need of a ride. But these situations are usually at night after certain routes are no longer running and a patron still needs to get home.

"This was the first time I had done this during the day," said Mr. Oldfield. "It was clear she needed our help, it was a cold day and it was getting dark."

Mr. Leaper said they were happy to help Ms. Pacione who was clearly stranded.

Ms. Pacione said she can't say enough to thank Mr. Leaper, Mr. Oldfield and the unidentified mechanic for their help.

"I am so thankful because I didn't know they would go above and beyond the call of duty like that," she said. "I couldn't believe it."

Thanks to for the report.

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