Kindness goes a long way

Bus Talk column - 14 November 2019

Yesterday was World Kindness Day; a great reminder for all of us to be nicer to each other and check in with each other.

Here at Orbus, we’re into the third month of celebrating the Driver of the Month, and it has been humbling to read the wonderful compliments for the Orbus drivers, and equally to hear drivers talk about their friendly passengers.

The drivers across our network are responsible for moving a lot of us around the city and further out, in all types of weather, through roadworks and congestion, never really knowing how many passengers they’ll pick up/drop off. Let’s be kind to our great Orbus drivers every day!

On that note, let’s meet the latest recipient of the Driver of the Month award.

Dean Grigg from GoBus

A long-time bus and coach driver in the region, Dean has been driving for around 25 years after his wife got him into the bus business.

He says he’s lost count how many times he’s driven to Milford Sound in his previous role, and it seems he’s as taken by the local sights too. 

“I love sea views on the Corstorphine route and the lit-up harbour at night on the Waverley route. It’s great always being on the move, and no two days are the same in this industry. This is my niche, I love it,” says Dean.

He feels it’s both a big responsibility and a privilege getting his passengers home safely, especially school kids and older people.

“With 30 people in my hands every day, it’s fulfilling to know I serve a purpose. This is a profession that I take seriously and I’m proud of, along with the team I work with. We work hard and there can be long hours.”

It’s certainly helped with his shyness, a trait you might not immediately imagine for Dean.

“I used to be shy growing up but because of my size I couldn’t hide. I’m a people person and when they see me with my tattoos they are taken back until I talk, and they see that I’m a friendly guy who likes to give a smile and have a good chat.”

His passengers can vouch for that attitude, calling him awesome! 

“He greeted me with a friendly and cheerful 'Hi, how are you today?'” says one passenger.  

“He was very polite and happy. Not only that, I watched him greet every passenger that boarded the bus in the exact same way, bright and friendly.”

As Dean says, “A smile doesn’t cost you anything.”

Keeping things moving

As the weather warms up toward summer and the early mornings are light, more of us are catching the bus.

We encourage you to be ready for your ride to keep things moving.

Clearly signal your bus and wait at the curb. Keep your GoCard handy so you can quickly pay your fare and allow the next person to do the same. If you don’t have a GoCard, get your change ready.

If you want to mount a bike, become familiar with the process, have your bike ready and let the driver know you will mount the bike. Drivers are unable to help as they need to stay behind the wheel in a stationary idling bus.

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