Bus rage?

Peter Black (AM) asks why bus drivers are seen as hate figures for some, worse even than politicians.

For some it may be bus lane envy, or traffic jam frustrations causing them to misidentify bis drivers as a target for demonisation. However as a bus user, I see a different side. Bus drivers can’t help there being too few buses when people wish to travel, meaning people stand at the bus stop while 95% full buses sweep past. But they can help their attitude towards customers.

Many don’t seem to realise that they are customer servants, and as such owe their passengers a certain degree of civility. The other day I got on the wrong bus. Frustrating enough, but the driver had clearly been off the day customer care was taught. I pressed the bell in heavy traffic but we crawled past my stop. It would have made no difference to his schedule to stop in the express area. Nor would a sense of deference towards his customer have cost anything either.

“Do you know what bus this is?” sneered the driver.
“71”
“No X35”.
Pause.
“Er are you going to tell me where I can get off?”

Wholly inadequate. A more ideal transaction would have been:

“Excuse me sir, terribly sorry about this, but I think you may have got on the wrong bus. This is the X35 an express service and unfortunately I’m not allowed to stop before the Esso station further up.”

But then, as some claim, we’ve never been much cop at customer service here.

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