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Action Easy Access… Not!

By shanefos - 24 September 2008 129

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.

What’s Your opinion?


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129 Responses to
Action Easy Access… Not!
Fiona 2:37 pm 24 Sep 08

At least they run the easy access busses intertown… problem for peopel in the the connecting busses to get from the minor centres like weston to woden to get on these busses.

Danman 2:34 pm 24 Sep 08

In ACTIONS defence, I recently had an almost accident driving to work early one morning (I know this sounds bad already) at the hands of a groosly incompetent bus driver.(Read bus in middle lane, me in left lane, half way along bus. Bus decides it needs to be in left lane and moves across, no indicators, no warning, forcing me into the bike lane, and eventually coming to a full stand still to avoid getting a cyclist caught in my work car grille)

That morning, I wrote a long and detailed email to ACTION and got a standard pro forma reply.

Initially it seemed that they had palmed my report off into the too hard basket but alas 2 weeks later I arrived at work with a voicemail.

I rang ACTION back – and as I was able to report the bus, time, location etc in my inital email, they were able to chase up video footage of the driver in question.

ACTION rep all but admitted that the driven in question had already been under the scope for various other “Incidents” and assured me that they had already began following up my email.

They then assured me that the driver has been made aware of my email, is undergoing mandatory driver reviews and may face disciplinary action.

ACTION finished by saying that they will be keeping me posted with the recourse of my email.

A good result for me – this driver could easily cause a fatality if their behaviour does not change.

MrMagoo 2:32 pm 24 Sep 08

No one toddler and one baby and yes sometimes a driver hasn’t been best pleased about waiting while I load upbut hey that’s their job. And I don’t wear a big sign that say Blink on Board either.

peterh 2:30 pm 24 Sep 08

shanefos said :

MrMagoo said :

Like Jessieduck I rely on the bus to do all of my travel, well most of it. I have and do take the kids and a pram all the time and I am vision impaired as well.. I have neither had any issue nor trouble with getting on and off the bus and that includes very rarely getting easy access buses.

Do you have a twin-pram, Mr Magoo? Ever tried getting one of those as well as two babies and a toddler on and off a bus that doesn’t have ramp access?
Then again, being vision impaired might be the key here, because you don’t have the extra pressure of surly bus drivers staring you down and grumbling about how long it takes you to get on and off.

twin prams are the work of the devil. the long ones don’t turn easily, the side by sides don’t fit anywhere. and bus drivers seem to see straight through you whilst you try to get on board.

as mentioned in other posts, though, I want a really big spike on the front to mow down the idiots who walk in front of me.

realityskin 2:29 pm 24 Sep 08

yeah, take a glass of toughen the fkuc up !

jakez 2:25 pm 24 Sep 08

I too have played ‘bike rack lotto’, in fact my continual failure to win that lotto led me to give up on buses.

As a 24 year old, completely healthy male, who finds buses extremely frustrating, my heart goes out to those with disability or wee ones to toe around. I couldn’t do it.

tylersmayhem 2:23 pm 24 Sep 08

Oh good grief – how did people manage before “easy-access” buses? I sure as hell was carted around on Action buses when I was little with no problem. It’s along the same lines as “OMG, my Outlook is broken – how will I ever survive”! C’mon people – harden up. How do you think millions of other societies in the world manage?

I agree that if Action is quoting “x” number of buses are easy access, but this is not the case – then sure, send in a written complaint. But I sure as hell wouldn’t martyr myself by waiting for 4 buses before asking for help to get on one.

The majority of bus drivers world wide are disgruntled (my wife hs enlightened me yesterday that this is not in fact always the case), but I noticed majority a-hole bus drivers in Syd, London, Canberra etc.

When will people stop finding reasons to not use public transport? Toughen up, get organised, get out your 10-ride pass and jump on. That or buy a treddly and get fit and save cash too (admittedly not helping the OP with this sugg.) Options galore!

shanefos 2:11 pm 24 Sep 08

MrMagoo said :

Like Jessieduck I rely on the bus to do all of my travel, well most of it. I have and do take the kids and a pram all the time and I am vision impaired as well.. I have neither had any issue nor trouble with getting on and off the bus and that includes very rarely getting easy access buses.

Do you have a twin-pram, Mr Magoo? Ever tried getting one of those as well as two babies and a toddler on and off a bus that doesn’t have ramp access?
Then again, being vision impaired might be the key here, because you don’t have the extra pressure of surly bus drivers staring you down and grumbling about how long it takes you to get on and off.

shanefos 2:07 pm 24 Sep 08

… A further update. After waiting at the Belconnen Interchange and having two buses without ramp access go past, when an “Easy Access” bus finally arrived it was too full to take the pram and the driver refused to allow her to board!
I love this town!

MrMagoo 2:06 pm 24 Sep 08

Like Jessieduck I rely on the bus to do all of my travel, well most of it. I have and do take the kids and a pram all the time and I am vision impaired as well.. I have neither had any issue nor trouble with getting on and off the bus and that includes very rarely getting easy access buses.

jessieduck 1:39 pm 24 Sep 08

I rely on Action for most of my transport needs but I cannot imagine doing it with kidliwinks- hard work.

peterh 1:38 pm 24 Sep 08

my father in law wrote a fairly rude letter to action buses. (he didn’t think it was rude, but oh, it was.)

My wife is housebound when i have the car. a 3yo and twin boys in the pram, makes it near impossible to get on a standard bus. My father in law wanted to know what was being done to address the lack of easy access buses. the response was pleasant and dismissive. The action representative advised him that there were plans to upgrade all buses to easy access, but they were hampered at the moment by budget cuts. There would be omly easy access buses by at least 2010. bit of a wait at a bus stop.

belray 1:37 pm 24 Sep 08

Unfortunately ACTION is a joke. Late buses, early buses, dirty buses, driver calls in sick – cancel the service. None or limited services after 10.00 pm. The list goes on……

shanefos 1:33 pm 24 Sep 08

God-only-knows how people with limited mobility get around in this town if someone with a mere family impairment has s omuch trouble!
On her last trip across town, because “Easy Access” buses were so few and far between, what is normally a 20 minute drive turned into a 4 hour round trip!

niftydog 1:24 pm 24 Sep 08

Similar sentiments regarding my favourite game – “bus bike-rack lotto”.

A lack of “easy access” buses never hindered my mum when raising three kids – however back then the bus driver would happily leap out of his seat, fold up the stroller and stow it in the baggage area for you!

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