My first time to take the bus 702 yesterday turned out to be quite an adventure. Perhaps that’s what you get on Friday 13th.
As the bus went up Northbourne, near the public housing just before Dickson, a kid threw a solid object at the bus and hit the rear door. There was a loud bang and passengers noticed the intact but shattered door. The bus kept going for a few minutes, but then suddenly the glass fell apart and pieces of glass fell everywhere. The bus came to a stop at Mouat St. and everyone waited for the next bus to arrive.
No passengers seemed to have noticed what caused it, but the driver saw the perpetrator and said the video surveillance on the bus would have caught them. Later, the transport officer who attended our stopped bus spoke briefly to me about it. He said this kind of thing has happened before in Tuggeranong / Woden / southern parts of Canberra, but usually kids would throw less harmful objects like eggs. He said up until now it had been quite rare in the inner north. He called these kids “bogans”, kids with irresponsible parents that don’t properly look after their children.
All passengers had to wait 30 minutes until the next bus came to continue the journey.
It was sad to see this sort of thing happening in my adopted home town. Public transport in Canberra has already lost huge sums of taxpayer money in recent past, and this sort of behaviour is all going to add up to less services for the general public. I look forward to the realtime bus data and improvements to frequency and network coverage. I have taken the bus countless times and enjoy the experience much more than driving.
I guess this event makes me think, what has happened to the culture of these families that are less well-off … why does less income mean they take pleasure out of damage vehicles and being a public nuisance? What is wrong with our education system? I love this city, and hope it doesn’t become a second Sydney. I like to think that we are more sophisticated and cultured, but this sort of event is quite off-putting.
On a totally irrelevant but happier note, I met a happy Steve Jobs look-alike on the same bus.