On the odd occasion I have to use public transport and so far I have not had any unpleasant experiences, well that was until today.
I gave myself plenty of time to get to where I wanted to be, leaving the house a whole half hour than I usually would to get to the bus stop. I wasn’t naive, I knew that with the rain there would be more people using the buses but it wasn’t rush hour nor was it a busy period.
Using the Stagecoach service that runs into the city centre from where I live which is a popular route, it took an hour and 20 minutes to get where I wanted to go to. The timing is not an issue, yes I was late getting where I wanted to go to and my journey took an hour longer than usual. Today my issue is that I was refused entry on to six, yes you read that right six buses because I had a pram with me.
Don’t get me wrong I know the seats are prioritised for the elderly and wheelchair users and I am more than happy to fold my pram down and sit at the back but today in the rain I experienced what I can only describe as poor service. It is down to the drivers discretion as to how many prams he/she allows on the bus and they can ask you to collapse them down which I would gladly have done if I had been allowed on the bus. Out of the six buses only one had been packed to full capacity so I can understand why we couldn’t use that one.Two buses already had two prams on, with space for a third but the drivers had decided, that was their limit…..not happy but fair enough.
My toddler was becoming impatient being confined in her pram inside the rain cover bubble, I was rather soggy and also quite late. Another bus visited the bus stop and I prepared to board only for the driver to beep his horn and wave his hand at me to step away from the doors. Confused he then went on to hand signal a no towards me as he let on the other passengers. I can only guess there was no room on his bus either.
As time was ticking on I had been at that bus stop for nearly an hour when another bus approached, surely this was the one it had to be. It was near enough empty! Unfortunately I was refused again, there were two prams on board with a further 6 passengers on the lower deck. Confused I asked the driver why he wouldn’t let us on, he replied saying that he already had enough prams on board. Well surely I could collapse my pram and use one of the other seats if that was a problem? Again I was met with a no, you see folding my pram to store in luggage/bags area was still too much. I was told “that is the luggage area that might be needed by somebody with shopping, your pram would take up too much space” soaked to the bone I felt like giving up. “Don’t worry” he said, “you can get on the next bus”
Six Stagecoach buses today refused to let us board, and after an hour we finally caught a bus and made it to our destination. I completely understand the amount of room they take up, if the space is needed for a wheelchair user I would have got off the bus but were told no. None of the drivers knew how long we had been waiting or how many buses had been past so I wonder if the outcome would have been different if they knew?
To add insult to injury, our journey home along the same route in rush hour traffic was much more pleasant, a total of five prams boarded the bus at the first stop with no comments from the driver.
So thank you Stagecoach for a wonderful morning, you really made my day
Since I do not use public transport often, I’d like to ask you my readers, if you find public transport of any kind a viable way to transport your families around? I would love to hear about your experiences, negative experiences and even those positive ones when you have been out with your family