Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hold the bus!

Yikes! Freaky! If you’re a bus user you’ll know that feeling when a bus engine stops. There’s a shudder, an unnatural silence and a slight feeling of dread. It generally means the driver will soon appear on the stairs to tell you why the bus isn’t going any further and you’ve got to get off and wait for the next one or whatever. On occasion the bus driver stalls the bus. When it happens more than once you sit there and wait for the driver to make a call and give up because there’s summat wrong with the bus. You feel like the steerage passengers on the Titanic who have realised that the engines have stopped (see, I told you the engine had stopped!) and that they can’t necessarily believe the reassurances anymore.

Anyway, yesterday I got on a bus and it kept stalling. All the time. After a while I realised it was one of those clever engines that stops at traffic lights to save fuel. So that’s good really. However, like a 2 year old who keeps jumping at every bang on bonfire night I couldn’t shake the feeling of ‘oh bugger, I’m going to have to get off the bus’ every time it happened. It was just weird and unnatural. This was of course a posh bus. I should have known that the posh bus would be on the X98 route from Wetherby and not the scum buses they run from where I live. But perhaps it’s to do with the fact that it’ll stop less on route so it makes more sense to use clever engine stop bus on this route. Nothing to do with a poorer service for the poor areas. Maybe.

But don’t go running away with the idea that I’m being easy on Firstbus. They still just stop all the buses that are running late during the rush hour so there’s a 40 minute wait until the evening timetable kicks in and they can run the usual 50% of the buses that are scheduled. Then of course that bus waits for time everywhere because it’s the first one to be running to timetable. So it sits there with 500 people on it while the other buses put up the ‘out of service’ sign and bugger off back to the depot. This clearly saves Firstbus money. Still, we’ll have trams down the end of our road by the end of 2007. And if that goes tits up we’ll at least have the cut-price trolleybus. Or maybe we’ll just have toss all…

No comments: