A typical day, I went to get my kids from school. My son didn’t really want to get on the bus, he wanted to go back with his mother in the car, but she would be leaving late. So I went to get them. Out trip (from this particular place) requires two trips; the first on a fast line (Nantes line 4) which was supposed to be a tramway, but at the last second they made it a dedicated bus line. There is a bus every three or four minutes, so we don’t even look to see when the next one is, we just go. When we arrived at our destination, it was time to catch another bus. This one doesn’t come by as often, maybe once every 10 minutes, but that is still pretty good, so I don’t really take notice of the timetables.
When we arrived, I told my daughter to get her bus card out, something I could have done on the bus, but didn’t. Something that I would think about a long time afterwards. We went to get the bus, but missed it by just a few seconds. 20 seconds more, and we could have got on, but I wasn’t in a hurry. Getting on a bus “late” is complicated with two children, as there are rarely any seats left for us to sit down together, so I didn’t run, I preferred to wait for the next one.
The next one came, we got on, and we left. There is a place in Nantes called Pirmil, it is one of the major hubs for changing bus, trams, etc. We arrived, the bus stopped, people got off, people got on, and we left. We stopped because a tram was coming, but something went wrong. The tram continued, but apparently our bus did too, and the two collided. It must have dragged our bus for about a meter, and made one hell of a noise. Of course, the two kids were pretty close to tears.
There was a few seconds of panic, and then things went back to “normal”. We got off the bus, a lady next to us offered to keep my kids while I went around to see if anyone was hurt (I have medical training), but everyone was fine. The bus looked bad, but it was mostly fibreglass that can be changed. The tram was leaking some sort of fluid (probably brake fluid), but managed to limp away to be repaired. The entire zone was shut down for all of 5 minutes, and then things went back to “normal”.
I called their mother, Mayday mayday! She was on her way anyway, so helped me with the kids, hugging and kissing as needed. They are going to talk about this for weeks…
The end of the story? No-one was hurt, and while it was pretty impressive for the kids, they’ll be fine. Hats off to the TAN (Nantes transport) for getting everything up and running within literally minutes.