Being without a car this past week, my wife has had no choice but to discover the pluses of buses in getting the three kids across the other side of town to childcare and back.
With two little ones in a pram and the toddler able to walk, we thought this would be an easy enough task (albeit, far more time consuming than driving) given Action’s claim to have “Easy Access Buses” on (almost all of) the Intertown bus routes.
Having discovered the hard way in the past that not all of these services are in fact “Easy Access”, we phoned Action Customer Service and were assured that the Intertown buses we intended on catching would have ramp access.
Long story short, of the 4 buses my wife has waited to catch since getting Action’s assurance that she would have no trouble getting on the bus, 3 of them were not the afore mentioned “Easy Access Buses” and so she was forced to wait for the next service.
Apart from all of the other problems with public transport in this town (well documented here on RiotACT), if Action can’t guarantee whether the buses on any of their services will be “Easy Access” or not (even when they say they can), is it any wonder so many people in Canberra don’t even consider buses and just drive instead?
Most recently, my wife was lucky enough to get the help of some wonderful fellow passengers who helped her to load kids and pram on to the “Not-so-easy To Access” bus.
The driver, however, was your usual down-trodden, disgruntled Action driver and got all defensive when asked why the bus was not an “Easy Access” bus and claimed that, when he arrives for work at the depot, he just has to take whatever bus is available at the time.