In the Bronx, One Passenger in a Thousand Ronald Ruiz has driven a New York City bus for 11 years; he's one of the most beloved drivers in the Bronx, with more than 100 regular passengers. But one woman from two years ago sticks in his mind.
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In the Bronx, One Passenger in a Thousand

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In the Bronx, One Passenger in a Thousand

In the Bronx, One Passenger in a Thousand

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Time now for another moment from StoryCorps. StoryCorps is the project that's capturing an oral history of America. People across the country are telling their stories in interviews conducted by friends and family members. Recordings of these conversations end up in the Library of Congress and on MORNING EDITION.

Ronald Ruiz is a New York City bus driver. He went to the StoryCorps booth in Grand Central Terminal and talked about a passenger he picked up in the Bronx.

Mr. RONALD RUIZ (Bus Driver): I remember one woman in particular, a senior, who had gotten on my bus and she seemed completely lost. I could see she was confused. I don't know whether it was an illness, but she looked so beautiful for a hot summer day to have a fur on. So I said, `Are you OK?' She said, `I'm fine, I'm fine, but I don't know what restaurant I'm meeting my friends.' I said, `You sit on the bus, I'll run in and I'll check each restaurant.' The very, very last one on the left, I said, `It's gotta be this one.' So I said, `Stay here, sweetie. It's nice and cool in here.' I went in and I said, `There's a lady in the bus and she's not sure the restaurant.' And I saw a whole bunch of other seniors there and they said, `Well, it's probably her.' So I ran back to the bus, I said, `Sweetie, your restaurant is right here.' And I said, `No, no, don't move.' And I grabbed her hand. I remember my right hand grabbed her right hand, I wanted to make her feel special, like it was a limousine. It's a bus. She said she felt like Cinderella. And she said, `I've been diagnosed with cancer and today is the best day of my life.' Just because I helped her off the bus? And I never forgot that woman.

MONTAGNE: New York City bus driver Ronald Ruiz. To see his picture, hear about other StoryCorps moments and to find out when a StoryCorps sound booth is coming to your area, visit npr.org.

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