Its amazing what people will do to flag down a bus and what they expect will cause us to stop. So for those of you reading here is a quick list of how and how not to hail a bus
Extend your arm at a 90 degree angle to your body .
Wait for an indication that the driver has seen the signal i.e the indicator goes on and the bus slows down before retracting your arm.
Wait for the bus to come to a complete halt and for the doors to open before attempting to board.
Just flap your hand
Wave your bus pass
Stand there looking the wrong way and then yell when the bus goes past
Wait until the bus is 6 foot away before waving
Jump out into the middle of the road and expect us to stop and let you on
Use your foot to signal for the bus to stop
Push the doors to open them quicker… they are fitted with a switch that will slam them shut if you do this. Yes really
And finally my personal favorite….. Using the force.
“what is fit for service ?” i hear you ask.
Fit for service is what the engineers have to put on our VCR sheet before we can take the bus out of the garage.
Hmm i think i need to start at the beginning for the non bus drivers amongst us.
The bus driver is responsible for the safety of the bus and the passengers. To that end we are required by law to check the bus over and make sure that there no problems before we leave for service. This is called the Vehicle Condition Report. We are given 15 mins to have a walk round the bus and check to make sure that nothing is wrong with it. We have to list any problems with it and if they are a major problem the engineer should replace the bus.
Now on this cold and frosty morning I jump on the bus and fire it up. No problems so far, lights all ok, doors open and close fine, wipers ok, Demister……ah that dont work.
So over I trot to the traffic office to check out the situation with them
“If you havnt got a demister its a PG9 offence” that means that the bus can be taken off the road straight away and the company can loose its operator licence. This means that they can be ordered to take ALL their buses off the road that day and cannot resume services until each and every one of them is checked over and certified as fit for service.
So I take the form with the demister fault to the engineer and tell him that I need a new bus because the demister is not working.
“Its not raining so you wont need it” he says…..
Not wanting to argue I watch him sign the form stating that the bus is fit for sevice and leave the office. Heading back to the traffic office I tell the clerk that the bus has been passed by the engineer.
“we’d better hope that VOSA are not checking buses today.”
This one thing could have took not only my bus off the road but halted all services. As it was the only thing that happened was i froze in a very very cold cab. My passengers were ok but by the end of the shift i couldnt feel my feet at all.