'I’m blown away:' Kamloops Ebus driver reacts to viral TikTok video | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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'I’m blown away:' Kamloops Ebus driver reacts to viral TikTok video

FILE PHOTO — The Ebus to Vancouver at the Kamloops station on Feb. 19, 2019.

A Kamloops Ebus driver says he doesn’t know how to feel after thousands of people watched a TikTok and left positive messages for him on what he considered to be just another day at work.

Troy Ryersee, an Ebus operator, was driving his passengers from Kelowna to Merritt along the Okanagan Connector the evening of Nov. 29, in the middle of a snowstorm when a video posted to TikTok showed a conversation he had with his passengers about their safety went viral.

“It’s bad weather, it’s winter, I don’t care how long it takes me to get over there,” Ryersee said in the video. “If I gotta go 30 km/hr all the way to Merritt and it takes me five hours to get there, that’s what we’re doing folks because I’m not going to risk your lives.”

@lexiireid never felt so loved in my life #busdriver #snowfall #connector #coq #vancouver #winter #snowfallwarning #kelowna #merrit #fy #fyp ? Aglow (Intro) - Slowed Down Version - Karamel Kel

Ryersee said it was a standard message, one he has given many times during the winter months in his 20 years as a bus driver, first for Greyhound and then for Ebus when Greyhound folded. Passengers can find Ryersee driving the Ebus from Kamloops to Salmon Arm, and Kelowna to Merritt.

“I don’t know really what to say, I’m blown away,” he said. “And for it to be so important to people, it feels good. I appreciate all the attention, it feels nice.”

The video was posted by Lexi Reid (@Lexiireid) the following day with the caption, “Listen to how much the bus driver cares about us.” It has gathered more than 130,000 likes and been watched more than 780,000 times.

It was also the first time in a long time the passengers clapped after the announcement.

READ MORE: Bus driver on Okanagan Connector during snowstorm tells passengers he won't risk their lives

“I couldn't believe it, I just turned around and sat down and thought ‘wow, that’s pretty cool, I guess everyone was actually listening, that’s great,’” Ryersee said. "It’s just something I normally would say because that’s what’s really important to me and it’s the same with every other driver too."

Ebus B.C. manager Glen Desjardine commended Ryersee’s efforts.

“I’ve worked with Troy for a good number of years so it was not a surprise. We get compliments on our operations all the time, Troy being one of our finer operators with customer service and the message he delivers,” he said. “He’s such a warmhearted individual and he truly means what he says and I was not shocked at all that Troy made comments like that and got that reaction from the public.”

It was surprising to see it blow up on TikTok however, Desjardine said.

READ MORE: Ebus increases service to routes across B.C.

“It takes a lot for people to go out of their way to provide a compliment and say thank you in this day and age and how much they appreciate something and it really hit a chord with all our staff in British Columbia, they’re all really coming together and are so proud of Troy and the rest of the operators in B.C.,” he said.

Highway 97C is one of the more treacherous roads in the country and Ryersee and his passengers made it safety that night with a 30 minute delay.

“Our schedules are built with a little bit of forgiveness but not as much forgiveness as what was necessary in those conditions so glad to see he did it safety and his message was well-received with the people on board and glad to see that message that’s gone viral now has been well received with everybody, not just in B.C., but with everyone throughout the country,” Desjardine said.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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