At the end of June, Durham Regional Transit started a new service called “Pulse”, offering a direct service from downtown Oshawa to the University of Toronto’s Scarborough Campus. I’ve used this service several times and am always struck by the number of radio reports from drivers reporting a late trip. On one occasion, the bus I was on reported being five minutes late after having travelled three blocks. The reason was a large number of passengers at that third stop.
It occurs to me that if so many late trips are happening, the problem isn’t the drivers, but the schedule. I have long suspected that those who plan schedules have never driven anything larger than a Honda Civic and have never ridden a bus or they would realize buses don’t handle or respond the way that Civic does. I also suspect that if they’ve actually driven that route, it was in their Civic at three in the morning when there is very little traffic. It seems the one thing those who plan these bus schedules fail to do is talk with the drivers – those whom they are trying to schedule. Nah, couldn’t do that because it might set a precedent.
I had occasion to use this route today and as usual I noticed that most passengers pay very little attention to things such as route and destination signs. The destination sign (the one on the front of the bus) clearly states “Highway 2 to U of T Scarborough”. Seems clear enough, doesn’t it? The coach travels along Highway 2, ending at the University of Toronto in Scarborough. Why then do people insist upon asking if the bus goes to Scarborough Town Centre, a large shopping centre several miles beyond U of T?
Another thing I’ll never understand is this: People usually arrive at a bus stop with several minutes to wait for the coach to arrive. Wouldn’t you think it a good idea to use those few minutes to get your fare out of your wallet, or get your pass out before you board the bus? Rarely happens. Usually people stand at the farebox and fish through their wallets or pockets looking for the correct change, or they search through their pockets or purses looking for their pass. C’mon people. Show a little initiative and have that stuff ready before the driver opens the door for you. It won’t hurt to try it and it might make the difference between getting a seat and standing.
Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.