Sometimes it's just about the bus
“I remember what it was like taking a bus 20 years ago. There was no air-con, the bus was rickety, and it wasn’t always there when you needed it. When it did arrive, you had to share the bus with lots of other people. The bus didn’t take you straight to where you wanted to; it took a winding route and stopped for other people too because the service didn’t serve you alone. At the end of the trip, however, you got where you wanted to go.
If you wanted to get anywhere fast, and in more comfort, you took a taxi. You could even tell the taxi-driver which route to take. Heck, you could even call for a cab to come to your door!
That was the way things were and you knew where you stood.
For the most part, the old non-air-coned buses were good enough for me. I was a student and had concession. The bus-driver wasn’t always friendly, but I was there for the bus.
But as I grew older and got more pocket-money I began to wish they would make the trip more comfortable.
One day we complained that it was always too hot in the buses. They said we would have to pay a little more but we thought it was a good idea. So they put air-con in some of the buses. The bus-drivers were still not always friendly, but then I was there for the bus. And the air-con.
Then they put air-con in ALL the buses, which was a little irritating because sometimes I just wanted to go two stops down and didn’t want to pay the extra for the air-con. But it was still cheaper than a taxi.
And then they decided to have a computer take your fare for you. It was supposed to be more cost-effective, but I had to pay more for the installation of the system. I wasn’t sure it was a good idea, because I was there just for the bus and I didn’t really care who took my fare. Plus the bus-drivers were still not friendly.
They liked the idea of computer taking our fare so much, they installed a contact-less system which cost even more, and the cost was again passed on to us. I was getting a little pissed, because I don’t remember asking for contact-less card. I was there just for the bus!
I looked for alternatives, but really taxis were still more expensive, and the only other bus company didn’t operate in my part of town.
That was when I decided to become a taxi-driver.”
Moral of the story: Remember - sometimes it’s just about the bus.