07/30/2015 03:14 EDT | Updated 07/30/2016 05:59 EDT

Mary Anne Cooper, 100-Year-Old B.C. Woman, Stranded After Bus Driver Refused To Help

Port Moody Museum
A 100-year-old Port Moody, B.C. woman says she was left stranded at the curb after a transit driver refused to help lift her walker onto the bus.

Mary Anne Cooper told CBC News the incident happened a few weeks ago when she was trying to board the number C25 TransLink bus in order to get to a local library. 

She struggled to lift her folding walker up the stairs onto the passenger-less bus.

"I quickly brought the walker down again into the road and said, 'I can't manage this,'" Cooper recalled.

But when she asked for help, Cooper says the bus driver told her she was not allowed to help for insurance reasons.

"I said, 'Does this mean I can't ride on your bus?' And she said, 'Yes, that's what it means.'"

Cooper says she had no choice but to return home.

'Another door closed in my life'

TransLink spokesperson Jennifer Moreland told CBC News there is no policy preventing drivers from helping customers.

"Operators are encouraged to assist when it's safe for them to do so," she said.

 "We regret to hear about that incident and she should file a complaint."

Cooper said she has never had a problem getting help from a TransLink driver in the past.

"In this case it was a female driver and [she was] adamant about not helping," she said. 

Cooper  —  a cherished member of the Port Moody community and a PhD in environmental conservation — was awarded the Freedom of the City for Port Moody in 2011. Her 100th birthday was acknowledged by the members of the legislature last October.

She said the entire experience has left her angry. 

"I simply felt frustrated — completely blocked. It was just another door that closed in my life."


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