I hate bad bus drivers

"I've had enough of moody bus drivers ruining my day"

Charlotte Fordham

Charlotte did a degree in English and Creative Writing. Her dream is to travel the world and write for a fashion magazine one day.

A smile costs nothing – or does it? Obviously my £3.90 bus fare isn’t enough to cover it, judging by the scowl on most bus drivers’ faces. I rely on buses and it amazes me just how miserable some drivers are. Not even a polite ‘hello’ escapes their lips when I alight their metal monstrosities.

Apparently, it’s not enough that bus drivers are miserable, but they enjoy imparting their foul mood on others, too. I have to wait for buses in all weathers, playing guessing games as to when they’ll turn up – the least I expect is a smile when I hand over my hard-earned cash. It gets worse. Just the other week, I flagged down a bus TWICE only for it to rattle past in an indignant manner. Seething doesn’t even come close to how I felt. I’m paying for a service; I don’t deserve to be treated like something on the bottom of the driver’s shoe.

The thing that gets me is you wouldn’t expect retail staff to behave that way. So why do bus drivers? There is seemingly no limit to the fury of an irate driver. I feel like I’m treading on eggshells whenever I approach one because you never know what sets them off – although paying with notes is usually one way to do it. I’ve seen countless people turned away because they’ve tried to pay with a £10 note. I can’t believe they’re actually refusing custom. Imagine going up to the till in Marks & Spencer with an armful of clothes and being refused service. You wouldn’t stand for it, would you? Yet when it comes to bus services, we just put up with the lengthy waits and irritable drivers because we’re used to it. It shouldn’t have to be this way.

And what’s more, we shouldn’t have to put up with these moody drivers taking their frustration out on their driving either. It’s bad enough being scowled at, but sometimes I feel I would have a more relaxing journey if I was on Nemesis at Alton Towers. I’m thrown forwards, backwards, side to side, and occasionally left gripping the seat for dear life. The ironic thing is, I always make sure I thank the driver before I get off. What on earth am I thanking them for? A near-death experience and a complete lack of people skills? Yeah, thanks for that.

With all this in mind, is it any wonder people don’t use public transport as much as they should? I’m sure that bus drivers encounter a lot of undesirables during their shift, but that doesn’t mean they can tar everyone with the same brush. I’m not going to fare-dodge, or try and give you a £20 pound note for a £1.20 fare, so please, when I smile at you, smile back!

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Updated on 29-Sep-2015