Taking the bus is a greener option than driving a car around Vancouver this summer. An even greener option would be riding a bike, walking, jogging, or running, but if you are not exercising those options (or your legs), what can you expect when on a bus?
I take the buses around Vancouver quite often, or sometimes even daily, and I’ve seen some pretty interesting things and talked to some amazing people, along with a few that make me really concerned for myself and others.
Overall the buses are pretty good and normally, the bus driver’s are super friendly! Yet, there are those times that have stood out to me while riding on a bus, and I think they are worthy of sharing!
Here’s what stands out to me:
1. Our transit buses could be a bit cleaner, or people could learn to throw their garbage away once off the bus! We shouldn’t expect bus drivers to be cleaning up after us. I have more than once found old apple cores crammed down the side of seats, banana peels, cups of half-drunk coffee or tea, newspapers everywhere, gum, and the list goes on.
2. People are creatures of habit and normally sit in a place that they find comfortable. Even if there is a place at the back of the bus to sit, sometimes there is that road jam in the bus aisle where people stand instead of sitting. This can be a bit trying for someone who is okay with sitting at the back of the bus and is trying to move there.
3. The sound of those buses when the decompressed air decides to come out of the pistons when you are boarding or leaving a bus can really hurt your ears. I once witnessed an older woman giving a bus driver heck for having such a noisy bus. I don’t think he could do anything about it, but he got an earful!
4. Bus drivers are tough! Quite simply, if you can be a bus driver, you can do about anything you choose as a career. You have to deal with all sorts of people, smells, issues on the road and in your bus, and loud, obnoxious people that are young, old, big and small. Most of the time, someone will talk your ear off, too, even when you have a full busload and may not want to be in a conversation about the weather.
5. As for smells, the first thing that comes to mind are the abhorrent perfumes and colognes some women and men put on before boarding the bus. ”I’m here,” is the message they are sending, and trust me, everyone is getting it. One squirt is quite enough.
6. As for sounds, there is often blaring music from an iPod, disruptive arguments among “friends”, or loud, one-sided conversations of cell phone users who think they are the only ones who exist on the bus. Please—keep it down! Who really does need to know your entire weekend plans or how Benny did Suzy wrong? Or, maybe not everyone loves rap music?!?!?! Unless you have won the lottery and you are going to share your prize winnings with everyone, pipe down already!
7. The majority of the time, thankfully people show common courtesy to older citizens of our city, yet there have been those times where a whole busload of people will shake their heads as someone does not move an inch for another who is three times their age.
No doubt there are other concerns, but these are the key issues that stand out for me. The majority of the time, though, riding the bus is very pleasurable and interesting, and you even get your green Brownie points.
Now to finish up, a couple of customers came into our Essentia store at the time I was writing this blog, and so, I decided to ask them what they thought of the bus issues in Vancouver.
What stood out to them were how few buses in Vancouver there are during the rush hour times. “I can’t even get on a bus because there is no room!”
Do you have any experiences while riding the bus that stand out for you?