By Shane Tyas
Walking through any part of Brighton, you’re almost always bound to see a bus drive past with a picture of someone smiling with the caption “I’m on the bus” followed by a brief explanation of why they love travelling on one.
But with all the advertisement round the city, and the Brighton and Hove bus company assuring as many people as possible how wonderful their service is, how much truth is there in this?
As a frequent user of buses, I must admit I have had my fair share of problems when it comes to catching one. The most common issue being their failure to turn up on time more often than not.
Occasionally, they have failed to turn up at all, or drove past saying ‘not in service’ leaving myself and several others would be passengers frustrated at the idea of being late for work or college, and with the simple thought of “why don’t I just learn to drive?”
For some, this would be a much easier solution, but in reality, many of us are too lazy to learn. This leads us to being subjected to extortion on a daily or weekly basis due to ever increasing bus fare prices.
Today I spoke to Alice Watkins, a student who has used buses for at least 5 years, her response was: “To be honest I have never really enjoyed the service, the prices are too expensive, the bus drivers are grumpy and they are never on time”
As well as poor time keeping and consistent unreliability, many bus drivers are becoming well known for their short tempers and general rudeness to passengers, in particular to those who are under 25.
Over 2 weeks ago at half past 3 in the morning on Halloween night, I had a first person eye witness account of a bus driver refusing to let on at least 30 people because the ‘bus was too full’. Rather than thinking of a solution as to how the problem would be resolved, the bus driver was happy to throw anyone off who he saw as ‘dead weight’ and when one girl piped up asking “How are we going to get home, it’s freezing” he smugly answered “I don’t care”.
This attitude is a sharp contrast to the image the Brighton Bus Company has tried to sell us over the last few years, and while there are some bus drivers who are polite and welcoming, there are just a few bad apples that drag the rest down.
With the ongoing issues, buses in Brighton are starting to a less popular form of transport as some people believe it’s “not worth the hassle” and would rather walk or learn to drive. With this in mind, it seems that the Brighton Bus Company need to eradicate these problems before their buses become well and truly empty.