Caught the 80 this morning in Bedford. Three ta four stops into my ride it became evident something was very wrong. The bus would come to a jolting halt each time we made a stop or slowed to a near stop. Our driver occasionally would check in with whoever is on the other end of that mysterious black phone. Overhearing the conversation I learned that the transmission was failing. I’d brace myself at each stop praying the jolt won’t rail my face into the guard post of the seat in front me.
I was a passenger on this bus for about 30-40 minutes and at no time was their an announcement from the driver to explain the nature of the situation. A plan came into formulation to drop us at a nearby stop, issue transfers and have us wait for the #1. Again at no point was this message announced or expectations set. As a passenger I had major concerns, is my bus safe? What is wrong exactly? I have a place to be, like many of the riders. When will I be apprised of the situation so I can call ahead and let me employer know I will be late. Or reschedule my appointment. FAIL METRO TRANSIT on all levels of communication, FAIL on the zero effort to offer any comfort or empathy to your customers. FAIL on reassuring your customers their safety is your primary concern.
I was then transferred to the #1 and now wayyy behind schedule. This driver was not really any better. Again a near miss with a pedestrian racing for the bus. She was forced to move onto the road for a moment to get around a bobcat clearing the sidewalk. The driver knows she is racing for the bus, she has been racing for the stop nearly a block. I’ve raced for the bus before, and if it wasn’t for the shit attitude of most drivers a person wouldn’t have to take heroic measures to catch their bus. Most drivers seem to take some sorta sick twisted pleasure in watching you run for the bus and then pull away just as your reaching the stop. This particular driver didn’t pull away, but he did scold the passenger. To the point of near lecture about the risk of what she had done. When in reality the driver was completely aware of the situation in advance, he was at a stop light. There was time to observe the bobcat, observe the sidewalk conditions, observe the road conditions and make an educated decision to minimize the risk to the pedestrian. Instead he chooses to make no adjustment to his driving pattern, he blows his horn as he passes dangerously close and scolds her as she boards the bus.
Bravo Metro Transit. Oh and I do have to give this driver semi props. He was very friendly to an attractive female rider who chose to stand ahead of the line and make casual conversation with the driver. This distraction is obviously A1 for my safety and attentiveness to other passengers needs. Like opening the door, so they can get off at their stop. Which by the way, did not happen. Twice and who knows how many more times after I disembarked.
Time to step up Metro Transit.