Bus Talk 12: Bus drivers have a challenging job

Monday 16 October 2017

We’ve received a lot of positive feedback about bus drivers recently from our bus ambassadors and from bus users via our Facebook page. Many people are reporting their experiences of our Dunedin bus drivers as generally friendly, courteous and especially helpful to passengers trying to negotiate recent changes to the bus services.

Lady getting on a bus

Bus drivers have a tough job – driving in traffic requires plenty of patience, especially when you’re in charge of a large vehicle. The driver-training programme also includes customer service,
being considerate to fellow motorists and always considering safety issues.

One of the safety issues facing bus drivers is motorists parking on bus stops, which puts passengers, drivers and other motorists at serious risk. Motorists create a dangerous situation by parking on spaces reserved for buses as motorists need to move further out into the road to get around an angled bus. It also makes it harder for passengers to access the bus safely.

Cars parked on bus stops can also hold up buses, causing schedule delays. And, of course, parking on bus stops is also a traffic offence that Dunedin City Council parking officers keep a close eye out for.

The Regional Council asks bus passengers to follow a Code of Conduct so everyone can have a pleasant journey. Dunedin buses display the code, which outlines expected behaviour by passengers to ensure our buses are friendly, safe and inclusive for everyone.

We’re keen to hear your feedback on all aspects of our bus service, including your experience with the bus drivers, via our Otago Regional Council Bus Services Facebook page or give us a call on 03 474 0287.

Buses and cruise ships

We’ve had some enquiries about cruise ship visits in relation to our bus service. Given that many cruise ships provide dedicated transport for passengers to get from Port Chalmers to Dunedin, we’re not expecting a significant impact on public services this cruise ship season. The private buses chartered for cruise passengers are usually staffed by drivers who don’t work on the public services. Sometimes cruise ship passengers do take public buses, but in past seasons this has not generally been at peak times.

Look for this column in your Star every week as the Regional Council works towards improvements to your bus services.