ZOIE. (ourregret) wrote in bad_service,

Bad Bus Service.

A few nights ago my friend was catching the bus to head home. Fare is $1.25 and he didn't have enough money ($1-exact) and of course didn't tell me that he needed to borrow money:). Now my father is a bus driver for the same company (and has been driving busses for over 20+ years), my mother is a supervisor for the same company, and my grandfather drove busses for over 2 decades (so I know a bit about the "rules" and such) and what drivers are trained to do/say is just simply state the valid fare. (Drivers can also extend what is called a "courtesy ride" where they can give a free ride, or they can give a discounted ride if the person is short on cash. ) As long as the driver has stated what the valid fare is their job is done. They are told not to start a confrontation with a passanger over a fare because it could end up with an aletercation, and a fare is not as important as finishing a nights work safely.

Anyways, my friend (who funnily enough is in the process for applying to the same company to be a driver) asked nicely if he could either have a courtesy ride or pay what he had on him. The driver said "the correct fare is $1.25" (there his job is done.) my friend was confused to if this was a yes or a no so he asked again and the driver just turned to him and asked that he get off the bus. He asked twice, and my friend was just like "what?" (he wasn't being a jerk or anything, just confused on if he could get the ride.) The driver then said "I'm stranding the bus" and got on the radio and started yelling about how "the bus is being stranded and I need the sheriffs to report to (the location)".

A passanger in the first seat behind the luggage rack asked what the issue was and my friend told him he was short. So the passanger got up, and went to put the 25 cents into the fare box. The driver blocked the hole and yelled "No! You can't pay for him" (not true. Anyone can pay anyones fare, if the guy wants to give my friend the money, good for him :D.)

I ended up getting my friend off the bus at this point (because the driver was still yelling for "assistance"), but I got his badge number (hmm sucks for him that it's my mother who is the supervisor who handles all the driver complaints for their area) and I filed an official report (which I emailed and was on her desk the next day) as well as telling her over the phone what happened. Both her and my dad said that drivers can not do what he did, and even my friend (who has been through several training classes with the company) knows that the driver did not have any right to strand the bus over what should have been a simple courtesy ride (drivers get in no trouble for giving courtesy rides, so it's not like he would have gotten in trouble.)

When I described the driver to my mum she was like "oooh I know exactly who he is" because she's handled several complaints on him in the past, everyone in the office describes him as the "crazy" one who is "always starting something." One time he was even assualted by a passanger who he had pushed to far because apparently they were arguing over something dumb like this, and he left his seat (which the company tells you don't do in any situation) and he got the crap beaten out of him(which I don't really agree with, but after seeing how he is, I'm beginning to side with the passanger).

Anyways, the next bus came about 30 minutes later, my friend once again explained the money situation to the next driver and he said "oh no problem *with a smile*" and gave him a discounted ride.

TL;DR - Bus driver refuses friend a courtesy/discount ride. Bus driver doesn't allow another passanger to give my friend change. Strands the bus and calls for police assistance. Friend and my family have a history with the company and know this is against the rules. We get kicked off bus. Next bus driver has no issues with giving a discount ride.
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