Bus driver goes extra mile for elderly

By Weng Yu-huang and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 - Page 3

A young Taipei bus driver has been lauded for going the extra mile to help the elderly after a passenger filmed his actions on his smartphone and posted the video the Internet.

Hung Ying-tai (洪英泰), a driver on the No. 307 bus route from Taipei’s Fuyuan Street to Banciao District in New Taipei City (新北市), is always considerate to people who move with difficulty.

The 27-year-old Hung is known for helping the elderly and those with physical disabilities get on and off his bus, and waiting for them to be seated before driving off, which had earned him the nickname the “kind-hearted driver.”

On arriving at Banciao Main Station at 1pm on Jan. 14, Hung noticed an elderly couple waiting to get on the bus. When they reached the steps of the bus, the elderly woman stepped up first, then asked Huang to wait a moment to allow her husband to get on.

Seeing the elderly man had difficulty moving, Hung left his seat and stepped down to provide assistance, with the man holding on to him for support.

Once they were on the bus, Hung continued to support the man by the arm and led him to a priority seat.

Only then did Hung return to his seat and start the bus. The elderly couple only stayed on the bus for one stop, getting off at the fire station on Minchuan Street.

The driver again left his seat and helped the man get off the bus.

The old man thanked Hung and said: “It’s the first time I’ve had such a kind-hearted driver help me.”

His wife also thanked Hung.

Hung said he did not think too much about it, and did not know that another passenger had recorded his act of kindness on a smartphone and posted it on the Internet.

The next day, the bus company asked Hung to return to the bus depot for media interviews, and he then explained the matter to company management.

For his good deeds, Taipei Bus Co awarded him merit points and bonus pay.

Ko Ting-ju (柯廷儒), Minsheng Station bus depot manager for the No. 307 route, said the company operates “low-floor” buses and gives training to drivers to help the elderly and those with physical handicaps.

However, “to really give help to passengers in need, drivers must feel it in their hearts,” Ko said.

“Hung has been only in the job for eight months, but he has been actively assisting the elderly and individuals who move with difficulty. He treats all passengers the same way, providing his service whenever it is needed,” Ko said.