Saturday, May 25, 2013

The bad... and the good!

I don't drive.  So I'm very reliant on public transport.  And where I live, that means taking the bus.  My house is actually one street behind the big bus barns where they are repaired and stored overnight, so there's usually one I can catch, even late at night because the drivers are heading back there anyway.

In general, the drivers are fine.  But every now and then, you come across one who seems to think his role as bus driver puts him into a position of power and he'll wield it.  Like the one I had on my way into work on Friday.

We were at the bottom of a hill, at the bus stop outside the Salvation Army church, and the driver had just closed the doors after letting people on and off.  There are lights at the bottom of this street, and they were red, so after closing the door, the driver didn't move.  A woman ran up and tried to get his attention so she could get on.  People on the bus called out to the driver to alert him to her being there.  The driver ignored it all and drove off.

At the next stop, the same woman, having run - no, sprinted - along the road, showed up again, just as he'd closed the doors, but before he'd pulled back out into the traffic.  Again he ignored her, despite now most of the bus yelling and urging him to open up for her.  He just sailed off, leaving this poor woman breathless and disheveled at the bus stop.

What a douche, right?  I've even had one driver see me running up my street toward the bus stop and wave as he drove off.  Believe me, I was livid!  Just the way I was when a driver refused to drop me at the depot when it was pouring rain, and 11pm because officially his route finished at the shopping center.

But on the flip side, the other night I was the only passenger left on the bus by the time we reached my suburb, and the driver offered to drop me off outside my house.  Unfortunately I had to stop at the supermarket on the way home, so he dropped me there, and he offered to wait while I shopped.  I refused because it seemed like too much of an imposition, but it was nice.

And last night, the woman in front of me didn't have enough money loaded onto her card and didn't have any cash to pay the driver and he let her on anyway.  Then, he picked up a really drunk girl and let her ride even though she didn't have any money either.  Nor did she seem to know exactly where she was going....  Or where she was....  I hope she made it home okay.

Have you ever had bad or good experiences with public transport?


  1. I used to hate all public transport (I have gotten used to it though). I remember my first time with public transport was in Sydney before the card system came in and the driver refused to take my brother and I because we didn't have 'tokens' for the bus. Luckily we found another bus who let us ride after deeming us 'dumb country kids'... that experience made me weary of any public transport until just recently.

  2. Living in NYC for 10 yrs, I used a lot of public transport. I don't remember any badly behaved drivers or subway workers. Perhaps I was too busy watching my fellow passengers. They scared me a lot more! :-)

  3. I would be really suspicious of a driver wanting to drop me off at my careful. That other driver is definitely a douche!

    1. I actually know that driver quite well. He worked for me for a while a few years back, and he was good friends with my old roommate's boyfriend.

  4. This world takes all kinds. Waving as he drove off? Loser. I had an experience on the trolley here in San Diego that inspired one of my short stories: "Tomorrow's Dawn."
    In Medias Res

  5. Hi there! I just wanted to stop by and thank you for visiting my blog during last Monday's Blitz. I really appreciate all of the comments. You guys made my day!

    I hope you're having a great weekend. ☺

  6. We mostly take trains in Mumbai.

  7. I haven't taken public transport for quite a while - mainly because I work in the city and I live in a town. But when I did used to catch the train, like Lexa, I was more concerned with the strange passengers:)