Nfld. & Labrador

St. John's bus driver gets kudos for helping elderly lady across the road

Barry Delaney leaves his bus just about every day to help people cross the road. It just so happened someone was watching and filming last week.

It's just an everyday occurrence for Barry Delaney

Barry Delaney, a bus driver with Metrobus in St. John's, is spreading kindness this Christmas, with treats for kids, gifts for some and smiles for everyone. (Gavin Simms/CBC)

It's not unusual for Barry Delaney to get out of his driver's seat and help an elderly person cross the road.

What is unusual — to him, at least — is the praise he's been getting since a video of him assisting an elderly lady began getting shared on social media.

"I don't be on Facebook. That's not something for me," Delaney told a reporter during a bus ride on Thursday. "That's all part of something I do every day. It's just somebody got it on video."

Delaney has been driving with Metrobus in St. John's for 20 years. Before that, he worked in fish plants.

"When I started here, it was like the beginning of my retirement because I enjoy the job so much," he said. "It's not that it's the job, it's the people that I meet."

Delaney might be the friendliest bus driver in St. John's.

Delaney has been driving with Metrobus for 20 years. He loves his job and takes an interest in his regular passengers. (Gavin Simms/CBC)

He greets everyone with a smile and kind words. His regular passengers say he takes genuine interest in their lives, asking about their family members and their jobs.

Whether there's a camera on him or not, he always wants to help people.

"I might be the only person in their life that day that's going to have the chance to talk to them. 'How ya doing? Have a good day.' How hard is that? How can you not be that way?"

Spreading kindness at Christmas

He makes every effort to brighten people's day. Sometimes that requires listening to their problems.

"I'm after hearing stories here, man, I went home and cried over. And at the same time, I'm so happy to hear the stories."

Riding around the city, he'll take his breaks at a coffee shop in the west end. He grabs a drink and a snack for himself. If there's any kids on the bus, he'll grab something for them, too.

"They're delighted and the parents are happy, and I'm happy, and on the road again," he said.

I got a good life.- Barry Delaney

Delaney's mother died 10 years ago. Since then, he's chosen one regular passenger each year and given them a Christmas present. It's nothing huge, but he said their reactions are priceless.

One woman kissed his hand, told him she had nobody in her life at Christmas and thanked him graciously.

Delaney welcomes each passenger with a smile and greeting. He says people are sometimes surprised, but most reciprocate with kindness. (Gavin Simms/CBC)

"It was pretty touching to watch her — how excited she was over getting a little present. And for that reason, I tells people, I got a good life."

At the end of his shift, Delaney goes home to his wife. They have two kids, and recently became grandparents.

For all the kindness he shows to his passengers, some returned the favour with Christmas presents for his grandson.

The relationships he's built with passengers — complete strangers who came into his life through the doors of a bus — prove an important lesson, Delaney said.

"It don't cost nothing to say, 'How ya doing?'"

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