Alex Meikle, 14, stands at a bus stop on Jacklin Road in Langford with a shovel. Meikle and a friend spent two snow days shovelling bus stops on the West Shore to help commuters. The pair shovelled 56 bus stops in one day. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Langford teen shovels West Shore bus stops to help commuters

56 bus stops shovelled in one day

Alex Meikle didn’t spend his snow days the way other 14-year-olds were.

While many teenagers are taking the days off as an opportunity to sleep in and hang out with friends, Meikle and his friend — who did not want to be recognized — took it upon themselves to help commuters on the West Shore.

On Tuesday, the pair got their snow gear and shovels out and shovelled 56 bus stops on the West Shore along routes 50 and 52.

They started at 8 a.m., hopping on and off buses to shovel and salt stops on their way.

“We saw some people struggling to get on and off the bus … we decided to take the initiative and get out and do good,” Meikle said. “An older lady came up and said the bus provides her with freedom … and obviously freedom should never be taken away from someone so that provided us with some more motivation.”

READ MORE: Victoria hospitals saw rise in snow-related injuries, staff shortage from snow

Meikle said a BC Transit driver let other drivers know what they were up to so they could get rides for free. He said a Starbucks also gave them a bag of salt to use.

“We’ve gotten amazing amounts of support from the community … from the bus drivers,” Meikle said. “We’ve had people come up to us thanking us … offering stuff but we’re not asking for anything, we don’t want anything.”

Meikle is a Belmont Secondary School student and said he likes being involved in the community. He is hoping to be an advanced care paramedic one day which motivates him to be a community advocate.

He hopes he can encourage other teenagers to get out there and give back too.

Meikle, who takes the bus to and from school, said he can’t imagine what it is like for people with mobility issues who rely on public transit to get around.

READ MORE: Vancouver Island 4×4 club offers free rides to hospital staff

On Tuesday he even borrowed a snow-blower from a store to help clear a sidewalk for a woman in a wheelchair and has offered to help people shovel while waiting to catch the bus.

He said the highlight of his day was when an elderly woman gave him a hug and thanked him.

“I was the reason she was able to go outside,” Meikle said.

Meikle continued to clear bus stops on Wednesday, taking a quick break to speak with the Goldstream News Gazette, and planned to work well into the evening.

After one woman posted on Facebook about him, he sent out a tweet which he expected would only be seen by a few of his followers.

Now, Meikle said he is getting all sorts of “thank yous” and encouragement online. But he’s not doing it for the recognition.

“All I did was move some snow,” Meikle said.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


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