Transit operators from across Canada have been recruited to British Columbia to drive Olympic bus routes during February.
Among those taking a working holiday of Olympic proportions are Niagara Falls, Ont., bus drivers Sandra McCloy and friend Margaret Gilbert.
They both work for public-transport agency Niagara Falls Transit and are flying to the West Coast this week to begin a month-long stint of driving buses in the Whistler area as part of the Vancouver Winter Games.
Both women have been hired by PW Transit (Whistler), which has been contracted by B.C.
Transit to operate transportation services for the Whistler portion of the Olympics. In addition to drivers, PW Transit has also recruited dispatchers, mechanics, supervisors and service personnel to keep people moving in the area.
Both women were granted a leave of absence from their employer to be part of the February event. In addition to showing proof of their driver qualifications, both agreed to a security background check.
McCloy said that her background in driving sightseers around in tourism-heavy Niagara Falls should prepare her for the international traffic about to descend upon Whistler Village and the outlying Sea-to-Sky corridor.
“We end up meeting a lot of tourists down here, and you end up having a lot of conversations with people from everywhere,” she said from her Niagara Falls home, where she was reached by Metro.
“It’s going to be neat. You figure how many people from around the world will be at the Olympics. And everybody talks to a bus driver.”
McCloy said she’s not concerned about winter storms or other challenging weather hitting the region and making driving difficult during the Games.
“Even driving on regular city streets, you never know what you are going to run into,” she said. “If you wake up and there’s a storm, you still have to go to work.”