This may be one of the more middle class rants I’ve ever made but I just don’t understand who thought up the way buses run.
I have 3 main problems with taking the bus. None of them are to do with it being a bus or the other people on the bus (although I do have some stories to tell!). I’ve taken buses all over the place so I know my issues aren’t only relevant in one place. I am however talking about the everyday bus not the fancy ones that have displays inside showing you all the information you need or regular announcements.
ISSUE 1 – How much will this be? Do I need exact money? What do I say?
Now this is sort of 3 issues in one but it really comes down to one thing the interaction between me the bus boarder and them the bus driver. They’re in a rush trying to keep to time and I don’t necessarily have a clue what to say. Some buses want you to say where you are going, some what the exact stop name, some just want you to tell them what price ticket you want. And the tickets, why (for the vast majority of companies) is there not an easy way for me to find out how much the trip is going to cost. And you can go on about zones as much as you want but after two years of taking the same bus I still didn’t understand the zone system and I still got charged differently depending on the driver. Also some buses need you to have exact change which I get BUT IF YOU WANT ME TO PAY EXACT MONEY YOU NEED TO TELL ME AHEAD OF TIME HOW MUCH IT’S GOING TO COST.
ISSUE 2 – How the hell am I meant to know where to get off?
It’s all fine and dandy if you know where you’re going but if you’ve never been to the area before or never taken the bus route before it is so hard to know when to get off. I can’t count the times I’ve had to sit with google maps up on my phone tracking myself so I know around where to get off but this seems a tad ridiculous! Seriously how hard would it be to have the bus driver announce the upcoming stop or have a map in the bus that’s actually legible!?
ISSUE 3 – Is this bus late or not coming?
This is one I’ve experienced a lot. If you aren’t standing at one of the mystical and rare bus stops with the live timings on it then how are you meant to know? And if you mention some magical app or online live timetable you live somewhere truly incredible – NEVER MOVE. I’ve stood at a bus stop for ages refreshing the twitter or timetable of a bus company waiting for a bus that never turns up and it is so annoying.
Seriously though. Buses are so handy and cheap to use but I would choose the train over a bus if possible every time just because it is so much less stressful.
Does anyone feel the same way or am I just a crazy train lady who’s thought about it too much?