Busride Observations observation transportation

Bus drivers, courtesy, "the other side"

While on the bus today, I began to think about things relating to my many busrides and such. Ever since I began commuting to work by 7:30 or so, I notice how I have come to recognize the morning bus drivers and almost the exact times of arrival at my stop.

I was thinking these things, and thinking about others and courtesy. On Tuesday, the bus driver had trouble with making the left turn from Hyde onto Market (that turn is already very tricky). As a result, the driver disconnected the bus from the electrical power lines and, despite attempting to reconnect the bus to the lines, had to tell us all to migrate to the bus behind us. I felt so bad for the driver, although I guess the bus drivers have to deal with situations like this every day.

Anyway, today I caught the bus with the same bus driver, and I greeted him as usual. But, the bus disconnected again today, this time on Fulton and 8th Avenue; I was afraid that we would have to change buses again and again felt bad for the bus driver. Luckily, this time the bus driver was able to keep the bus’s cords connected to the power lines, so we made it downtown safely.

During the bus ride, I was thinking about those situations, and thinking about how hard the bus drivers do work. Yes, some of them may supposedly have “ego problems”, but then again, aren’t they human, too? Still, in the end, they do work pretty hard, and often times passengers are not so appreciative of the bus drivers.

For instance, when I traveled to Colorado a few weeks ago, I boarded a bus from the airport and honestly told the bus driver, “I’m sorry, I do not have small change for the bus.” Instead of being cruel and making me pay $20 for a $7 commuter ride, the bus driver decided he would collect others’ bus fares by hand in order to break the $20 I had. This slowed down the boarding, of course, but it was the driver’s choice to do this.

Well, while he was collecting the fare from other passengers, one guy boarded the bus and almost didn’t pay if the bus driver hadn’t told the guy to stop. “Oh, I thought we didn’t have to pay anymore; I didn’t know it’d take so long to board a stupid bus these days,” said the guy. Of course this statement made the bus driver angry, and he turned to look at me while he responded to the rude passenger, “Well, you know, there are other passengers on this bus besides you.” The passenger didn’t get the hint and just said, “Yeah, whatever.”

It made me feel extremely bad for the driver to know that he was doing me this favor, and then he received crap from another passenger because of his kindness.

Why is it that people do stuff like that though? I mean, to not understand from another person’s point of view. I’m certainly not saying I ALWAYS think about things from another person’s point of view. But, really, when I think about it–I’ve been at both ends of situations like these, and I am sure everyone has experienced both sides as well. Some may choose not to notice it, though, and go on with their lives not even thinking about how things are from “the other side”.