Golden Arrow bus drivers are – so far that I’ve seen – really friendly. You must have a love for people and driving to become a bus driver.
It happens often that I get onto a bus and it’s a new driver for that route. More often than not, I’ll have to play co-pilot and navigate him on where to go.
This brings me to the point of this piece – why appoint someone to drive when they are not familiar with that particular route? It does get frustrating having to do this now and again.
Also, if there is a driver who cannot make it, isn’t there a cut-off time as to when they can “call in sick”?
A few days ago, there was a protest happening in and around Blue Downs (Cape Town). My bus driver at the time was new so I had to direct him. I get off at the last stop of the entire route and there are no inspectors at the terminus (and there should be one, by the way). Before I could even ask him, he asked me how to get to the depot. Honestly Golden Arrow, imagine we hadn’t asked each other. What would he have done? Imagine he drove straight into the protest. I felt so bad for him.
To put a GPS system in each and every bus would be expensive not to mention a big security concern. So what else can be done? Put a driver who is familiar with the surrounding areas on a route that needs a driver? Give them a map to work out where to go? Detail to them on where to go before they leave?
I wonder what happens when the last person on the bus is a new passenger. What does the driver do since both have no clue on where to go?
I do not mind helping a new driver out but when I pay to be driven around, I expect the driver to - well, be a driver and know how to get from A to B otherwise, I could’ve driven myself.
I believe Golden Arrow can do more in terms of quality of service because it really doesn’t look good on them. We already have to deal with cockroaches on the bus, trash, broken seats, leakage when it rains and the old model bus from the year 1574 which is so noisy, I am still able to hear the heavy droning of the engine and the rattling of the windows whilst listening to music through earphones. I spend R 109.00 per week so I really do think that I deserve quality in at least 1 area of my whole trip to and from work each day.
For me, it’s cheaper travelling via bus and as opposed to all other modes of public transport, more convenient as well. (Unfortunately though, my morning drive is a mobile church which I don’t mind but just not every day especially on a Monday morning. And I also don’t appreciate the passengers treating the windows as drums. To me that’s vandalism.)
I’m not dissing Golden Arrow in any way I just wish they could pull up they’re socks and do more.
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