Thank you all for the questions that you sent in over the last couple of weeks. Thank you very much for them and I hope that you enjoy reading my answers.
editorialgirl What exactly was “Give Us A Smile”?
The “Give us a smile” campaign was as star_one said a campaign to get passengers to text in when they had a good or bad trip on a bus. Posters were put up all over the buses with a dedicated number to text in on. The other side of it was in the garages. All of the drivers that booked on early in the morning were given a huge badge and sticker with the “Give us a smile” logo on in an attempt to make us smile while we were out on the road. I must admit it was a little weird but if a smile brightened up a passengers day then I am all for it.
Bounder Tell us about your development as a blogger and writer, aren’t you bored of buses yet?
No I am not bored of buses yet. When I started out I had no idea how to go about writing the blog so I just read a few and saw what they were writing about. My wife had already suggested that I write about what I tell her when I get home so I did. It was very hard at first, I couldn’t think about what I wanted to write and thought that no one would want to read about my days on the road. I had a long struggle with every post, how to write it and what to write about. As I got into the swing of it the writing became easier although thinking about what to write about is still a problem sometimes. Once I have the idea for a post it usually gets written fairly quickly but there are times when I still struggle but then I suppose that’s true for most writers. Since starting the blog I have also started to write a book on my life as a bus driver and this is something that I never thought that I could ever do and yet here I am writing it. I feel that I have come a long way since starting and I hope to continue to learn more.
NXWM PR What exactly is that beeping sound coming from the drivers cab?
There are several beeps that come from the cab during a normal day, the indicators which are just beep beep beep, and then there is a quieter but constant beep beep beep. That is the onboard CCTV machine saying it has a problem. A constant loud beeeeeeep is a fault with the bus.
editorialgirl What do you think of this blog post: http://randomreality.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2008/10/29/3952362.html? Do you shake people awake, or do you call an ambulance?
I have never called an ambulance out for someone who is asleep on my bus. Usually I can wake them with a shout or a prod with my boot. I have heard of other drivers not even bothering to do that and just calling but I will always try first and only if I can’t wake them will I call for assistance.
supercoolkp Do you feel different since starting the blog? Have you learnt anything from commenter’s? Are you the best driver?!
I do feel a little different. It’s a good feeling though I am doing something that I enjoy and other people enjoy reading the results. Yes it may be hard work for me but the rewards are there for everyone to read. I don’t get that many comments but I have learned a few things from them. I shouldn’t be afraid to speak my mind and I do need to be a little careful about what I write about the company. As for being the best driver, there is an annual competition to decide that.
strix_aluco How would you prefer to be addressed by a passenger: “mate”, “chief”, “driver” or “skipper”? Personally I prefer driver. I have never been addresses by chief or skipper and I am not a fan of mate. There are other unprintable ways of address that have been used to describe me but those only seem to occur when I refuse to take someone for not paying or the bus is late.
star_one off peak isn’t meant to start until 6pm, so how come by 5 you (on Bristol road at least) start seeing loads of not in service? The only reason I can think of is that they may have been delayed at some point during the afternoon and are now heading for a point where they can return to service on time. Perhaps they have just finished a school bus run and are now returning to normal service.
Urbanfox: Up until a few months ago, on the buses with the digital destination board, the number used to be on the left hand side, with the destinations to the left of it. It suddenly changed overnight to the number being on the right hand side of the display any idea why?
I have no idea why it was suddenly changed. It took me by surprise as well I checked the bus as normal when I arrived at the garage in the morning and it took me a couple of minutes to notice that there was something different about the display. I think that it is better for the passengers, as you said, because the number is closer to the kirb and a little easier to read but I have noticed that there are some that haven’t changed and there is at least one bus where the number jumps from left to right.