A Passenger’s View

I travel by public transport to get to work. One of my work places is in the inner suburbs while for the other, I go in to the city side. Back home too I took public transport for college (5 years of it) and for work.

For work 1 in the inner suburbs, I catch one bus.

For work 2 in the city, I take a train and then a bus.

I recently found myself comparing the manner of the bus drivers in the city with those in the suburbs. For those of you from Bombay, we had BEST buses all through. Try and think of the inner suburb buses here similar to having buses just around New Bombay. Different areas in Sydney have smaller companies running buses whereas in the city, the Sydney buses is managed by the government. Anyway, the point here is not to give you a history of the different modes of public transport. Rather, it is to give you an insight into the behaviour and manner of the bus drivers.

The bus that I catch here in the suburbs and that I was catching during uni days to get around (same company, different bus) has really amazing drivers (well, majority of them, anyway). They are extremely friendly and always ask you “How you going” when you get in to buy the ticket. There is this one bloke who deserves a special mention — he wishes every passenger alighting the bus to “Have a nice day” or “Take care” or “See you later” or “You have a good one, darl”. The last one is for the women by the way. It’s drivers like these that make travelling by public transport that little less frustrating. I mean seriously, how can you stay mad when people are nice to you??

I remember catching a bus for placement last year when the driver was very friendly — he honestly managed to brighten up my day so early in the morning. He was always cheerful and had a good word for almost every single passenger. In fact, even school kids (very few of whom seem to thank the drivers) were smiling on their way out!

Now, on the other hand, the drivers in city — nowhere near as nice as these guys. I think I’ve just had a couple of drivers so far smile and say hi and smile when I say thanks upon getting off. So some of them complain that their’s is a tiresome, monotonous job —- try smiling and chatting with the passengers instead and things may not be so monotonous. Then again, I wonder if it is a chicken-and-egg situation with the people that work in the city being so much in a hurry that there is no way they take time to even acknowledge the driver!

I make it a point to still thank the drivers in the city. Sometimes I get a response in the form of a smile. Most times it’s nothing. I have people look at me like I’m doing something strange. I see them look at other people that thank the driver in the same manner. I wonder why. Wouldn’t it make your day much better if you start off with a smile? Travel in the suburbs, I say, where even though you have to wait 30 minutes for your next bus, you can be assured the driver will greet you with a smile.

Until next time,


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