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This Ottawa Bus Driver Saw A Woman In Distress And Did The Best Possible Thing

A photo of the encounter is going viral on Facebook.

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Brendan Fowlie's late-night bus trip in Ottawa was delayed by 30 minutes in the early hours of Wednesday night. But he's far from upset. Rather, he wants more people to know about the good deed that caused the delay.

It was about 1 a.m. when the bus the Algonquin College student was on pulled over next to a woman sitting alone on a bench.

OC Transpo / Via Twitter: @OC_Transpo

"She appeared to be in distress and was really underdressed for the weather, too," Fowlie told BuzzFeed Canada. "You could tell that something was obviously wrong."

The driver convinced the woman to get on the bus and told Fowlie and a second passenger that they'd be taking a detour.

The driver pulled into a Park & Ride and radioed police before heading to the back of the bus.

"He went back and sat across from her and talked to her and consoled her a bit," said Fowlie.

Fowlie snapped a photo of the driver and the woman as they talked and later posted it to Facebook with the story of what happened. It's now been shared more than 6,000 times.

Brendan Fowlie

(The woman’s face is partially visible in Fowlie’s photo, so BuzzFeed Canada obscured it and will not link to the original Facebook post in order to protect her privacy.)

Fowlie wrote about his own chat with the driver on Facebook:

I chatted with him for a while after we left, and it turns out he only started driving 8 months ago. You made the right call hiring this person, and I know that a lot of operators don't get the recognition they deserve for the job they do. Seems these days you only hear about them when they do something wrong, as opposed to going above and beyond what is normally expected of them. I'm thankful that there are people like this out there.

He said he wanted to share the story to "inspire people to stop and help people in distress instead of walk past, which is what most people do."

OC Transpo has taken notice, as well. They tweeted that management has seen the post and the driver will be considered for Transecure, which recognizes employees' good deeds and quick thinking.

.@MavenOfMayhem We’ve sent this post to his supervisor + management. His exemplary actions will be considered for Transecure recognition.

Lauren Strapagiel is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.

Contact Lauren Strapagiel at

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