23 people trapped on GRT bus for hours, unable to activate motion sensor

GRT bus

23 Kitchener-Waterloo citizens were held prisoner by the back door motion sensor on the route 8 GRT bus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To most, the “Bus riders must exit by back door” sign on all Kitchener-Waterloo buses may seem a friendly reminder towards an organized public transit experience. But to 23 unlucky citizens on February 20th, it held a slightly more menacing message.

At 2:34, health food store owner Heidi Megan attempted to exit the bus at Westmount and Erb. Despite vigorous attempts, she was unable to activate the motion sensor which opens the back door.

“I tried to replicate the diagram on the door. It seems simple! Just wave, and the door will open. If only it were that easy.” Witnesses report that Heidi attempted a number of alternate methods, including punching, rapid stomping, and yelling.

Heidi heroically adopted the role of spokesperson for the prisoners: “I’m pretty sure everyone on this bus has more important things to do than attempt to activate you,” said Heidi to the finicky sensor. It remained unresponsive.

The bus continued on the route for 3 more stops before Heidi announced to her co-riders that they were all trapped. “Having to watch the panic arise in my fellow prisoners was bar-none the worst experience of my life.” Many prisoners began to cry, while the rest searched for solutions on their smartphones. Eventually everyone banded together to create emergency SOS signs using napkins and notebook paper.

However, this story has a silver lining. Despite warnings from the already trapped riders, local folk singer James Kalvary entered the bus at 3:47.

“Someone had written ‘HELP US’ with lipstick on the window, a few parents were holding their crying children up, and there was an incredible banging sound coming from the walls. My curiosity was peaked. I wasn’t even planning on taking the 8!”

Kalvary has written a song about his experience, which was able to perform 14 times during his 2 hour entrapment on the GTR.

Stay tuned for the release of Kalvary’s single A Captive Audience in the upcoming weeks.

At 5:50, an engineering student who was late for a dinner date, managed to pry the door open with a crowbar he happened to have. He was the first escapee, jumping off the moving bus between stops. Many prisoners followed suit, while a few opted to wait until the bus arrived at its next scheduled stop to escape.

“It’s not the kind of thing you could easily forget,” said Heidi, accidentally quoting Kalvary’s second bus related single I Paid Three Dollars For This Ride.

The GRT continues to deny the travesty which occurred on February 20th. However, when asked what prisoners should do next time they are unable to open the back door, the response from bus drivers was unanimous: “Give it a couple goes.”

The Waterloo Honk wants to know: Have you ever been held prisoner on a GRT bus?

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5 thoughts on “23 people trapped on GRT bus for hours, unable to activate motion sensor

  1. This is a matter of poor instructions. What is crucial with these ultrasound sensors is to stay away from the door, *wait for the green light to turn on* and THEN place your horizontally-flattened, ungloved hand directly under the sensors at about shoulder level. Works every time.

    • Hi there Tim, it’s Heidi from the bus.

      If only you had been there to lead the prisoners Tim! I was not using an ungloved hand. do you know whether hopping really fast under the light works as well because someone else told me I should have tried that too?

  2. Pingback: 100-Word Challenge, Day 215-219 | My Writer's Cramp

  3. Pingback: LRT Construction to Continue Indefinitely | The Waterloo Honk

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