Nobody likes someone to take them for a ride, except perhaps if it involves a free trip to or from a destination.
With that in mind, one La Clery minibus driver decided this year to put into gear a Christmas Eve tradition on which others had applied the brakes and offered free transportation to passengers.
“This initiative has been going on for a number of years now but for the COVID, most drivers don’t want to keep up with the gesture,” Winston Williams explained.
However, he advertised the initiative on Facebook, offering free rides from Castries to La Clery and back from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.
Williams, also known as ‘Stonny’, said it was his way of showing appreciation to his many customers.
“Every time you give, whatever little you give to the people, they appreciate it. I mean, I cannot give everybody a whole bottle of wine or a cake, but to provide a ride for the people as a way of appreciating what they have done for you for the year, it went on very well,” he told St Lucia Times.
Nevertheless, he explained that everyone could not wait for one bus that could only take ten individuals while observing strict COCID-19 protocols.
As a result, Williams, a bus driver for over three decades, said whoever got an opportunity to be on the vehicle benefitted.
“I was not taking the line. I was just working as normal, going up and down the road. Whatever I got going up, whatever I got going down – whoever boarded the bus between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm got a free ride,” Williams told St Lucia Times.
He said minibus operations constitute a business that needs passengers on board to continue.
“The customer needs you, and you need them. So giving a little token of appreciation, every year-end doesn’t take away anything from you as a driver, because you have been getting from them from January to December. So one day or a few hours takes nothing from you, and the people appreciate it so much.”
And he felt if every bus operator could give something back, the gesture would steer the relationship between commuters and the public transport sector in an even better direction.