Liliaeth (liliaeth) wrote,

Bus woes

Had an experience this morning, that I'm not sure if it falls under bad service, though it's definitely something I was seriously annoyed with.

When the weather's bad (read, when there's snow, or remnants of snow), I occasionally take the Belbus to work, for those who aren't Flemish, this is a minibus system that you can order for trips in between two locations that do not have a regular bus connection.

Anyway, I reserved my bus the day before and they told me the bus would be there at five to eleven, which is fine by me, since I have to be at work at eleven thirty.

My first annoyance, the bus didn't show up until quarter past eleven. I asked the driver about it, turns out they added on two othe people (who were also in the bus) in between me and th person normally before me. In short they pretty much planned a delay on my bus of eighteen minutes. Not that the time wasn't there, but when they do something like that, shouldn't they at least let me know this? Give me a call, anything? You know, cause if they told me, I wouldn't have waited to leave home for another ten an fifteen minutes or so. It is cold here after all.

(it's esp. annoying when you keep in mind that if the passenger is late, or even just barely on time, while the bus was five minutes early, then the bus drives through without waiting... It's a bit of a double standard, which I have some trouble with, but that's besides the point)

So the bus finally shows up, late, but hey, I'm happy it's there and thinking I might still get to work on time, when the guy starts the bus before I've even gotten my money back. He's basically dealing with my money, signing his papers and so on, all while he's driving. Let me repeat this, he actually let go of his steering wheel, while driving to take care of this stuff.

And then to make matters worse, during the entire trip, including the time needed to drop of the people before me, he's sitting there, brushing his hands through his hair, more than once, once again, letting go of the steeringwheel with both hands.
It especially got me worried when on repeated occasions, I noticed the bus starting to swerve off to the left until he finally put a hand on the wheel again.

Also, while knowing I was already later than I was supposed to be, yet knowing he was ahead of his schedual, he decides to just put his bus in a parking space, to take care of some paperwork. Now sure, happy he finally did so while standing still, instead of just letting go of the steering wheel again, but damn it, he already knew I needed to be at work on time. I'd already mentioned, that I specifically reserved my bus, with asking for the time when they could have the bus arrive, so I'd get there on time. So why does he decide that it's a good idea to get his paperwork done, by the side of the road, instead of doing it right after he dropped me off?Since from what he said, he would have the time for it?

I didn't complain, partly because I'm way too polite, but I'm starting to think I should have checked his number and called his company anyway, what do you guys think?

Also secondly, I also tried to reserve a belbus to get back home. And was unfortunate enough to end up with one of the sticklers for the rules. (they can't send a belbus, if there's a regular bus that does the same trip within fourty minutes of the time you ask for. half of the time, nobody makes a problem, but ... well you know how it goes.

Now unfortunately there is a regular bus, half an hour after I'm done with work. You'd think this is a good thing, right? So did I, the first time I checked the hours.

I ended up waiting, was there twenty minutes before the time given, up to thirty minutes after... no bus showed up.

So since then, I try whenever possible to avoid it.

Today I had no other choice, so I figured, maybe I did something wrong last time... once again, half an hour before the bus left, till the time. I'm standing there, clearly waiting for the bus... Does the driver do anything... Nope, he just drives on, doesn't even slow down to notice that there's someone waiting for the bus.

I called the bus company to complain and they just really pissed me off.

Apparently, when you want a bus, you have to raise your hand to get it to stop. Keeping in mind that the bus stop is on the parking lot of the factory I work at, and that there's a guards post right next to the bus stop. So you don't even see the bus coming until it's already driving past the parking lot.

On top of that, despite his claims that the waving things has been in rule for 'years', this is the first time I've ever heard of it.

I've since asked several other people if they knew about this, even my 15 year old cousin, didn't have a clue about it. And he's more likely to know stuff like this, being a kid and needing the bus a lot more often than I do.But noone I asked, and I did ask at least six people, had a clue about this rule.

There's nothing at the bus stop either, saying anything about this rule, or even slightly mentioning that you have to pull the driver's attention. Which would be hard to do, since by the time you see the bus coming, the driver's already almost past the bus stop.

And for those who still don't get how bad this is, this is a bus stop at a factory, there's only a very limited amount of buses stopping at this factory in the first place. There's one around six for the night shift, one around two for the early shift, one around four for the day shift (which is the one I needed) and one around ten for the late shift people.) This basically means that if I hadn't found someone to pick me up, I would have either had to wait till ten for another bus, Or hope I could get into the belbus central just in time to order another bus, which at that time is highly unlikely. Since they stop accepting new orders around that time...

Ended up having to call my uncle, which I didn't want to do, who was annoyed, but still picked me up... But seriously, if the bus stop gives a time, and you're there in time, then you should be able to rely on said bus actually picking you up*grumble*

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