Before I go too far into said rant, the point of my post is this – does anyone know if Action Buses have a plan to replace any of their old fleet? I have heard a few things recently about new this and fantastic that, but haven’t actually seen anything materialise. What exactly do our fares pay for in the long term?
On Monday afternoon, in full knowledge that the old bus on my route would not be air conditioned, I still ran the gauntlet in order to get home slightly earlier. By the time I got off the bus I was so overheated that I thought I might throw up! At least I can say that all the windows were open, although even hurtling down the Monaro Highway was not enough to provide anything other than an extra blast of heat. It appears though on the old buses that the drivers area is air conditioned – just haven’t managed to extend to the paying passengers.
Thinking a bit more carefully about my trip today I decided to take the later bus which is always a new air conditioned model. Upon taking my seat I realised that the air con on the bus was not coping with the heat at all and we were essentially travelling in a super heated sealed box.
Over the years of travelling on the buses in Canberra, I have made a number of calls to ACTION asking what has to be done to get a newer bus on our route for a bit of cool relief at the end of a long day at work. I have been advised that bus drivers pick their own buses and unfortunately some of them prefer the old ones so nothing to be done. It seemed as if the school kids who have subsidised fares always got the newer buses, yet even with the kids on school holidays, we still miss out. Years later we are still being fobbed off with the old buses that break down frequently, and now it seems new ones that can’t cope with anything higher than 25 degrees outside.
When will “they” realise that no one is going to seriously consider taking the bus if the service is not improved. We are frequently advised not to leave children/dogs in vehicles on hot days, but Action are quite content to move passengers around Canberra in exactly the same conditions.
Thankfully back to driving the car tomorrow – and air conditioned luxury. In an ideal world I would take the bus everyday if I could, however childcare obligations make that an impossible choice for now. Given the last few days though, I may consider driving on these days of extreme heat.