A BC Transit driver has gone above and beyond to bring joy to a bus-loving Greater Victoria toddler and her family.
Debbie Simpson, a driver of 12 years, operates the No. 14 bus which runs between the University of Victoria campus and Victoria General Hospital. The route includes Helmcken Road where the bus is referred to as “Addie’s bus” after a little girl who made a big impression.
On weekdays, two-year-old Adalyn Wall and her parents walk her big sister to and from school – the family always takes Helmcken Road because the toddler loves trucks and buses and greets the drivers like celebrities.
One bus driver, Simpson, would always wave back, making little Adalyn giddy with excitement.
“We realized that it was always the same driver, who drives that same No. 14 bus every day,” said Tania Wall, Adalyn’s mother. “(She) and my daughter would wave frantically at each other, she would honk her horn, and it always made Adalyn’s day.”
Making the little girl happy was an emotional lift for Simpson too.
“I always honk at kids if they wave or they’re excited about seeing a bus, and she’s on my first trip out, as I start at UVic and head to the hospital,” Simpson said, noting that Adalyn nearly jumps from her seat to wave as the bus goes by. “She quite likes buses, that’s for sure. Maybe she’ll be a future driver.”
On May 5, Simpson had something special planned; she pulled over at a bus stop next to the family, opened the doors and presented Tania with a gift bag full of fun bus stuff for Adalyn. The gift included stickers, temporary tattoos, a colouring page and a little foam double-decker bus that the toddler now brings on every school run.
The Walls told their friends about Simpson’s gesture, and now the No. 14 bus has been unofficially deemed “Addie’s bus.”
After a difficult year of isolation and social distancing, Simpson’s kindness brought the Wall family joy.
“To have that moment of just pure, honest, innocent connection that was instigated by this bus driver… it was beautiful,” Tania said. “We think about it all the time and I tell this story to everyone because it’s just so happy.”
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