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A Thank You to Action Bus users

By Dazzlar - 18 August 2009 29

Caught two buses yesterday with a 7 month old baby and a pram.  Old style bus = lugging the pram up and down the stairs. Would have taken him out of the pram but a) he was asleep and b) it is safer for him to be secured in the pram on a lurching bus.

Got no help, or even a hello, from the bus drivers but lots of help from fellow passengers.  So Thank You all for being so helpful and helping this frazzled mum’s day go a bit smoother.  Now to work on the inter-personal skills of the driver.  One driver said to a passenger “Hurry up, I don’t have all day to chat” when the passenger was trying to find the right change and had the audacity to greet the driver!  (As a side note:  one of the buses I caught was from Civic to the Parliamentary circle and had no wheelchair access. Is this the bus tourists to Canberra would catch to visit OPH, Parliament House etc?)

What’s Your opinion?


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29 Responses to
A Thank You to Action Bus users
A Tadpole Drinking 1:50 pm 19 Aug 09

I’m with you Chewy14 (may I call you Chewy?). Recently at Woden interchange I tried to be helpful to a woman who was struggling with one of those two wheel trolley gadgets full of her shopping at the same time fossiking for her bus pass/money. She just looked at me and said “I’m not helpless” so I stepped back and waited.

When I get to Heaven I’m going to tell mum she raised me wrong.

chewy14 12:51 pm 19 Aug 09

Granny said :

I am a female and I help other women all the time. Once the drivers did too, because society expected that people would help one another when in trouble. That should be what people do. You can hide behind the OH&S stuff as much as you like, but I don’t.

I would much prefer the driver to not help everyone with a bag or pram get their stuff on a bus. It makes sense, for time and liability reasons, for them not to.
And the last time i caught a bus, i tried to help a lady get her belongings onto the bus to speed things up and was abused for my troubles.
Is it any wonder people won’t go out of their way to help others these days?

SheepGroper 12:38 pm 19 Aug 09

Sounds a bit selfish to expect a bus driver to risk themselves by helping you with your posessions. When I was using the buses I limited myself to what I could successfully wrestle on or off. Just because the driver may be covered by insurance doesn’t mean a injury is any less painful or convenient even if it’s temporary.

dvaey 12:31 pm 19 Aug 09

Im not trying to ‘hide’ behind anything, Im simply trying to put forward a view of why things are the way they are. On the one hand we complain that bus drivers dont help out enough or spend long enough having a friendly conversation, but on the other hand we all want the driver to not waste any time in getting to our destination. I also believe bus drivers wont assist you to put your bike on the front-mounted bike racks either. That doesnt mean they dont want to, simply that its against rules.

I believe that people should help others out when possible, its just human nature. I also believe though, that its unfair to criticise a guy whos just doing his job and trying to follow the rules his bosses have set for him.

AG Canberra 12:28 pm 19 Aug 09

And a big shout out to the bus driver who I get at least twice a week who believes the brake is either full on or full off. I’m sure I saw an old lady hit her head on the seat in front due to his crap driving skills…

Granny 10:13 am 19 Aug 09

I am a female and I help other women all the time. Once the drivers did too, because society expected that people would help one another when in trouble. That should be what people do. You can hide behind the OH&S stuff as much as you like, but I don’t.

dvaey 9:46 am 19 Aug 09

Granny said :

That is what insurance is for – if someone is injured while traveling on the bus.

I may be wrong, but Im pretty sure the insurance issue is for the driver. The driver isnt qualified, trained or paid for lifting. You might think ‘but its just a pram’, but what about the little old lady who has a trolley full of shopping bags, should the driver leave his seat to help because to not help a little old lady with her shopping makes him a bad person?

Granny said :

As a woman I could never stand by and watch a young woman struggle alone, knowing how hard it can be.

If you were in the middle of your job knowing your every second was being tracked (and recorded on video), and someone asked you to put your work on hold to assist them, would you? What if you were asked 20+ times a day to do this?

Im not saying that some bus drivers dont deserve the abuse handed out here, but Im also saying think of it from the other side of the story.

Also, if drivers were required to be able to lift a certain weight, passengers would start to expect it. Thats fine if the driver is a big burly man, but what if its a less well built female driver, the passenger(s) shouldnt have an expectation of the driver to do anything other than drive (and maybe operate the ticket machine).

ChrisinTurner 9:01 am 19 Aug 09

People won’t move to the back of the bus because ACTION says drivers are only to open the rear door at interchanges. This is stupid and doesn’t occur anywhere else in the world, in my experience.

I would like to add to the above list “* drivers who try to give their passengers a smooth ride”.

Isara 8:53 am 19 Aug 09

There are a limited number of wheelchair friendly buses in the ACTION stable. The timetables on the website note which runs use these buses, and they aren’t restricted to “tourist” routes. Which is a darn good thing too, because it’s locals who need the support more than fly-by-night tourists. After all, it’s the locals who ultimately pay for the services.

From the website:

ACTION’s bus fleet includes 115 easy access buses. Each of these buses is equipped with an extendable ramp, a wide front entrance, and space in the bus to accommodate wheelchairs or prams.

Currently, ACTION’s easy access fleet is dedicated to the high frequency “Intertown Route” series. This includes weekday routes 300, 312, 313, 314, 315, and weekend route 900.

Granny 8:49 am 19 Aug 09

That is what insurance is for – if someone is injured while traveling on the bus.

How is this any different from if the baby is injured if the driver makes a mistake while driving the bus?

And as for keeping to schedule, maybe they won’t need to drive at 40kmh the whole of the next leg, causing great rejoicing for the drivers stuck behind them. How terrible!

Funny how it’s fine for them to allow passengers with no insurance to assist the mother and baby, so if the child is injured it well may get … nothing! Funny how it’s ok for the passenger to lose everything they have.

As a woman I could never stand by and watch a young woman struggle alone, knowing how hard it can be. If I was a man, the day I’d stand back and not help some young girl I’d cut off my balls and to hell with the OH&S! I’d tell them to suffer in their jocks. I’d tell them to get stuffed.

wednesday 8:42 am 19 Aug 09

It may not be the driver’s fault that the OH&S policy is such. It’s a bit like a cashier at a supermarket, when the customer is 5 cents short, and the next customer chips in to help. You shouldn’t blame the cashier for being pedantic: they might lose their job. Blame the policy.

And I’d like to thank all the excellent ACTION drivers out there. The drivers I have on my daily commute at the moment are friendly, polite, and safe, conscientious drivers. It’s a pity a few of their colleagues are not so good.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 8:31 am 19 Aug 09

Welcome to Canberra.

geetee 1:40 am 19 Aug 09

I’d also like to thank some Action Bus users..

* ones who don’t realise that getting their money/ticket ready before they get on the bus is a novel idea – and this includes interchange passengers who don’t use those machines on the street before getting on the bus

* mothers that don’t bring prams onto peak hour buses and expect old people to stand up for them so they don’t have to fold up their pram (or as happened not so long ago – to allow their selfish teenage boyfriend to sit where the old lady has just vacated!)

* schoolkids travelling at half fare who might actually offer their seat to an aged pensioner (I think I might have seen this twice in the last year of daily bus commuting) and it mostly isn’t kids wearing private school uniforms..

* mothers with pre-school kids on a peak hour bus who can’t put their little kid on their knee and let a fare-paying passenger get a rare seat

* people – particularly larger ones – who actually move to the back of the bus rather than blocking up the front and slowing down every passenger who is trying to get on and off

In my experience – particularly recently – the above examples would be a very very VERY tiny minority of ACTION users though…

TP 3000 12:13 am 19 Aug 09

The driver isn’t allowed to help passengers with their belongings (there is a sticker on the door) also he does have a timetable to keep to.

Adza 12:00 am 19 Aug 09

I could be wrong here, but I had heard on the grapevine that drivers were not supposed to help passengers on or off for fear of liability… for instance if the pram was picked up with the baby in it and the driver dropped the pram by accident, injuring the baby, where does s/he stand?

Personally I think its courtesy but in today’s world who knows what could go wrong?

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