Making friends on the bus (but mostly pissing off the drivers)

So…yeah it’s been a while since I updated ye olde blogge. At this point I don’t even know when I last updated.

Long story short, things are going OK, I’m eating much more healthy lately in an attempt to yet again lose weight, I’m exercising regularly (except for the past week and a half, I’ve tweaked my back a little) and I found out last night I have to get a new clutch in my car so I started taking the bus to work today.

So this morning I woke up a little before 6, showered and dressed and realized that I would have time to drive (carefully) to the nearby supermarket to get to the cash machine, since I didn’t have enough money to get on the bus. Parked up in front of the house and had to grind the gears to get into reverse so I can parallel park on the narrow road…so that’s the last time it’s being driven until the new year, then.

Walked to the bus stop a few minutes away and the first person I annoyed was a random bus driver that stopped because I was right next to the curb (kerb) and looking at my watch as he came up. I tried to wave him off but he was stopping and opening the door anyway, but eventually he closed the door and drove off.

I only had to make one change, in the town centre of the town near my work, so I paid my fare and got on. Noticed there was a fare special if you buy 10 trips at once, alrighty, sounds like a deal, I just paid £2.30 for one trip and I can get 10 trips for £14, that’s £1.40 each, saving 90p each time. Score. I waited until the bus was stopped and asked the driver if I could buy the 10-trip ticket on the bus, he said sure and started printing up the ticket as he was driving. At the next stoplight I gave him a £20 note and he said, ‘I don’t have change, mate, I just started.’

OK, slight hiccup, so I found £4 in coins and handed him £24, expecting he’d at least have 2 £5 notes or a single £10 note…’I just started, I don’t have a ten-pound note mate.’

This is where I started to think he wasn’t really thinking of me as a mate, and using ‘mate’ in this instance would be akin to a west coast Dude-type saying, ‘man’ or a New Yorker saying, ‘you asshole’.

Well. What to do.

He was stuck because he didn’t have the cash to give me change, and said he’d take the £20 note and I take the ticket and hope for other people that get on and pay with coins, otherwise I could get my change at the depot. I said that’s fine and sat down.

The possibility of getting change from other passengers wasn’t looking likely, and proved correct as no one else got on until the village bus station, and those who did get on just flashed bus passes. The poor bus driver was already counting off change as I approached his window, and I told him I’d be happy to go there, but there were the angrily-counted-off coins, £6 (I think, I didn’t count it) and he was huffing, ‘You don’t need to go to the bus station, I just won’t have change for other passengers.’

Now this is where I think he went a bit wrong. I *did* offer to take up his suggestion of going to the bus depot, which would almost certainly be closed by the time I got there at about 6 in the evening. Or maybe writing up a receipt and explaining the situation to his route manager (or whatever they’re called in the bus trade) would be more hassle than dealing with the possibility of not having enough change for passengers in the short term.

Anyway, it was a mildly interesting first day commuting by bus.

—-

Bus vs car commuting cost analysis…just for kicks

If it weren’t for the fact it takes more than twice as long to take the bus as it does to drive, I would seriously consider it as the main way to get to work. I use up about half a tank of fuel per week getting to and from work by car, which is about £30-35.

For bus travel, the daily prices are £4.60 round trip for the first bus from Derby to Burton, and another £4.60 for the local bus from Burton to the town I work in, but weekly prices are about £20 for the first bus (I think) and £14 for the second, which roughly equals the spend for car fuel. I’d have to check out what monthly fares work out to, if they’re available.

The ultimate solution is to move closer to work so I can bike in regularly. I’d do it more often now but 16 miles one way is sometimes a bit too much, but the bus takes about as long and I’d get even more exercise on the bike.

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