Wednesday, August 25, 2010

An Issue of Safety? Really?

warning: I was a *tad* angry when I wrote this!

I recently saw a news clip* of a British Columbian teen who was left stranded at a bus station late at night because the bus driver refused to let him on the bus barefoot. Thus, the teen, Carl A., is left alone at 11 p.m. watching the bus drive away. He has no cell phone and may find himself walking the 6 miles to his home. He borrows a cell phone (from strangers late at night?) to call for a ride.

So what was the problem with being barefoot? It was dangerous according to the BC Transit Authority. After all, the teen could have stepped on glass in the bus and cut himself, then hold the transit system liable.

Let's talk about safety... and liability.

According the bus driver, it was safer to leave a lone teenager stranded at a bus stop late at night 6 miles from home than to just let him ride barefoot. The floor of the bus is apparently more hazardous than the streets the boy is left to walk upon going home. And it must be safer to walk barefoot in the middle of the night through town then to sit with all those thugs on the bus, right? In my opinion, high heels are so dangerous they should come with warning labels (I'm not kidding), but would the bus driver refuse to take a woman in stilettos? Flip flops are incredibly slippery when wet. Would he refuse those wearing flip flops on rainy days. The issue is not one of safety.

No doubt the bus driver felt the transit authority could be sued if the boy cut his foot on that glass all over his bus. But is the bus system less liable by leaving him stranded? If the teen did manage to injure his foot on the bus, he would not win a lawsuit - after all... he was barefoot! But if this were my son and he was mugged or beaten - or worse - because he was forced to walk home, I would definitly hold the bus system culpable! The boy had even already paid the fare before he was ousted from the bus!

This was a gross lapse of judgement on the part of the bus driver. Carl, I'm sending you a free, signed copy of The Barefoot Book and I hope you can use it to educate the BC Transit Authority! Walk well young man.

*available on youtube here.


  1. Well said, sir! I was disappointed to hear that Carl was going to wear shoes in the future. There's no reason for it! BC Transit's policy (if it actually existed before this incident) is wrong and the bus driver's tired old "broken glass" reasoning is silly. When was the last time you saw broken glass on a bus??

    There's no reason a person should have to wear shoes on a bus. And there's no reason to leave a kid stranded at night. I would encourage anyone reading this who agrees to write BC Transit and tell them what they think of this driver's actions! Here's the info:

    George H. Bagnetto,

    Public Transportation Facility
    413 Old Mill Road
    Vestal, NY 13850
    Phone: 607.763.4464
    Fax: 607.763.4468

    Fort Worth, TX

  2. Two question:

    How does the transit authority have the right to accept payment, then deliver nothing of value in return? Seems to me that should be illegal.

    Is there really that much glass lying aroung on bus floors? Most soft drink containers now are aluminum or plastic.

  3. Agreed. As I said below the YouTube video, 'safety' is just an excuse, any place that claims 'safety' for banning bare feet but does allow women to wobble in on stiletto's or platforms is not truly thinking about safety at all, it's just an excuse to set and uphold an irrational social bias against bare feet.

  4. I'm sure the guy's fare was refunded. ...It was, wasn't it??

  5. This is disturbing to hear. I hope that as the Primalfoot Alliance grows and as we spread word to correct the myths of barefooting, these situations will fade away so that we may go barefoot with peace of mind.

  6. sorry to change the subject but I believe God told Moses to take off his shoes. Orders from on high. Maybe you are on to something.


Welcome to The Barefoot Professor blog, intelligent talk about running, walking and living barefoot. I encourage your comments, even if you disagree with me. In this spirit I don't even moderate the comments. However, PLEASE use critical thinking skills when leaving comments, and avoid inflammatory words. Please keep your comments short and to-the-point. THANKS.