Bee Cool (dominiedirtch) wrote in bad_service,
Bee Cool
dominiedirtch
bad_service

The public transit system where I live is pretty horrible, for a handful of reasons.

I used to walk a few blocks to a stop at a park and ride to catch a bus to work, but after the third or fourth time that I saw the bus continue on the highway without stopping at the park and ride, I decided to catch it from somewhere else. Come to find out, everytime the driver on that particular route approached the park and ride, he would ask if anyone on board needed to get off there and if no one did, he wouldn't bother to stop, regardless of who was waiting to be picked up there (anyone waiting at the park and ride is clearly visible from the road, so it wasn't a matter of him not seeing them).

There is also an issue with drivers either not paying attention or not caring, and driving right by bus stops without stopping, meaning that everyone at the stop has to wait at least 30 minutes and up to an hour for another bus to come. This happened to me so often, at dozens of different stops, that I called their customer service line to complain. The woman I spoke with acted as if I was stupid, and told me that a raised arm was what bus drivers looked for as a signal to stop, said that I should have already known that, and advised that I read the travel tips listed in the front of my bus schedule. There was nothing about this in my schedule, but I gave it a try anyway. The first time, the bus driver continued on without stopping, so I called again and was told that the driver thought when I put my arm up, it meant that I didn't need him to stop for me because I was waiting for another bus. The second time I tried it, the bus driver didn't stop, and when I called customer service, the bus driver had apparently not seen me (and the 5 other people waiting) at the stop.

Several times, I have arrived at a bus stop 10 minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive there, only to find out that it left 5 minutes earlier...15 minutes earlier than when it is supposed to. I can understand a bus running late or a few minutes early, but 15 minutes seems ridiculous to me. This means that not only will the bus leave my stop more than 10 minutes early, but also every other stop on it's route, which will probably result in many people missing their bus. I always wondered how it was possible for bus to be running so ahead of schedule, and I think I figured it out last week.

I arrived at the bus station last week at about 2:50 pm; according to the schedule posted at the station, my bus wasn't leaving the station until 3:13, so I stepped inside to grab a bottle of water out of the vending machines. I grabbed my water and saw that my bus had just pulled up to the bay it leaves from. I stroll towards the bus with my nose in a book, knowing that it shouldn't be leaving for almost 15 more minutes, and just as I approach the open doors, the driver looks at me, closes the doors in my face and pulls away. I look at the time, and see that it has just turned 3:00. I know that this route begins at the station, which means that the driver knowingly started his route 13 minutes ahead of schedule, and knowingly caused me and a lot of other people to miss the bus.

On a related note, as I waited for my ride after missing that bus last week, I stepped into the ladies room to check out my appearance (I was on my way to work). I was standing in front of the mirror, applying some powder, when one of the bus drivers, who is washing her hands in the sink next to me, says, "You really shouldn't do your makeup or anything like that in public, it's soooo tacky". This confused me; it's not like I was putting on eyeshadow and curling my hair in the middle of a restaurant, I was in a restroom, putting on some powder before work. That's it, I'm buying a car.
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