Slowpokes! Sssloooooopooookes! G**D*** SLOWPOKE BUS DRIVERS!

On a good day, it takes me 1 1/2 hours to get home from work by bus. It has now been two weeks since I’ve had a good day. And this is in no small part due to the bus driver who appears to now be permanently assigned to the bus I take home five days a week. Now admittedly traffic on Interstate 95 is bad due to the collapse of the Interstate 35 bridge over the Mississippi, and the subsequent rerouting of traffic. But this driver apparently takes the attitude of “oh well, I’m going to be late no matter what I do, no point in hurrying”. Here’s how a typical ride home goes:

The first scheduled stop is his layover point, at 4:41 pm. What actually happens is that at 4:41 the driver decides to finally get back on his bus, close the door, adjust his seat and mirrors, etc, etc, and finally get the bus in gear and move anywhere from 1-2 minutes later. His layover point is 100 yards down from my stop, where the traffic has to wait to make a right turn onto a bridge; so if there’s a line of cars waiting to make the turn, add another 2-3 minutes. We finally all board and are ready to go. Add another minute if he just misses the light. OK, the light’s green, let’s go already. So the driver SLOOOWLY pulls away from the stop, like a semi-trailer truck trying to get into gear going uphill. He reaches the breathtaking speed of 23mph and proceeds to crawl through downtown St. Paul. At every red light and every pickup point, he starts braking half a block away and SLOOOWLY coasts to a stop, dragging out the last 4mph of speed over several seconds. He comes to a complete dead stop, seemingly takes a second or two to remember how to open the doors and then finally opens them. Passengers board; once the last one has boarded and paid, he sits there until he can remember how to close the doors again. When one second’s extra promptness would make the difference between just making a yellow light and just missing it, he always, always misses it. The real insult is the light just before the freeway entrance: once it turns green, there’s just enough time to get through the next light if he would only MOVE! But no, he gets through the first light and then actually slows down.

OK, so we’ve finally gotten on the freeway to Minneapolis. The posted speed limit is 60 mph. The traffic actually moves around 70. The bus then proceeds to go at about 50-55 mph. We are literally the slowest vehicle on the road. Cars pull around us to get into the lane that is wide open ahead of us. A chance to gain a few minutes before we hit the bypass chokepoint? Forget about it. Then we hit the chokepoint. The driver then immediately moves into the right hand lane, miles before our exit, so that we can sit behind all the traffic trying to squeeze onto the freeway from the entrance ramps while the left hand lane averages 15 mph faster. We finally get to our exit ramp. We’re late of course, but I could still just make my connection if we’d only move promptly. Yeh, right. More crawling at 23 mph. More taking forever to start and stop. More missing light after light. I finally get off at my stop, run three blocks trying to catch my connection, and get there two minutes after my second bus has left.

The thing is, if you ride the bus with any regularity, you can see the difference between the two types of drivers: the ones who try to make that little bit of extra effort to be prompt when they’re running late; and the slowpokes. The drivers who seemingly live in slow motion, with the reaction time of a sloth. Who drive as if it hurts them to push on the pedals. Yes, I know the freeway is backed up. I could still make my connection even if we’re five minutes late; but not if we’re seven minutes late. To continually miss my transfer by the amount of time the driver spends lollygagging is infuriating. I have fantasies of bushwacking the driver just so the bus company has to replace him with someone who hopefully knows how to drive faster.

This has got to be the second lamest Pit thread ever.


You could always claim that there’s a bomb on the bus and he has to do 50 or better. But then the driver would need to be a hot brunette. Never mind.

You can either have that, or bus drivers in Montreal who I swear were former cabbies, and still drive their buses as such. You haven’t lived until you’ve cut someone off in a bus.

Here speaks the man who does not rely on public transport. I have considerable sympathy with the OP, especially when the buses do not run that frequently. I would either speak to the driver directly (in a somewhat calmer manner than your post, obviously :)) or call the bus company and ask them to have a word.

That sucks. I totally understand why you are upset. To maybe make you feel a bit better I will share my public transportation story with you.

I live in NYC and rely primarily on the subway for my transportation. This is normally awesome, very fast and very clean with a minimum of fuss. However, there is one driver on the A line who works evening shifts that make me think the 7 year minimum in prision for assaulting an MTA employee might be worth it.

Typically when you are riding on the train the announcements are like this: “125th street, transfer here for the A, B, C, and D trains. Next stop 145th street. Stand clear of the closing doors.”

This jackass makes announcements like this: “Laaaaadies and geeeentlemen, please listen closely for an important anouncement from the MTA! This stop is 125th street, home of the wooooooorld faaaaaamous Apollo Theater which has Amateur Night every Wednesday at 7 pm! Transfers for the A, B, C, and D trains are available at this station. Our next stop will be 145th street, a mere 20 blocks up the line with a McDonald’s located right outside the subway station on the south side. This is the A train to Washington Heights. Please keep your heads, hands, bags, and children clear of the closing doors and please remind your friends about the fabulous New York City public transit available to them.”

It is like this for every single stop. All of them. He occasionally adds a French accent when he wants to spice things up and makes little announcements about various unimportant crap between stops as well. And he does all of this at three or four times the volume of a regular subway car operator. It is so loud and grating that you cannot possibly turn your iPod up loud enough to drown him out. I have gotten on the train, heard his voice, turned around and gotten off the train to wait for the next one when I have heard it was him conducting the train before. That is how bad he is at his job. He actively repels people from the subway.

That guy works in New York as well? I though he only drove a bus in Toronto. :slight_smile:

(He was on the #66 bus three times in the past couple of weeks. Same jokes each time. The first time it was amusing. Now it’s just embarassing.)

Hey, I got him on the Toronto subway many years back. Dude gets around, doesn’t he?

The buses I see on 880 are scarily fast.

Do you know if there is a schedule for the route? If the is, and the guy isn’t meeting it, you can complain. If he is slow to make the schedule, there isn’t much you can do. When I lived in NJ the buses from the Newark Airport long term lot had some sort of schedule about when they were supposed to leave the lot. If they were ahead of it, they stopped and waited at the kiosk just before the exit, even if no one was there. Kind of exasperating when you are running late.

Yes! And his driver is much preferable to the ones who race to the checkpoint so they can take a longer than slotted break. The OP is lucky he does have a driver who is slow leaving a checkpoint only to make it up by racing to the next one.

Reminds me of a driver we had for a while. He was probably over 60, armenian and likely bi-polar. He drove like a demon-possessed maniac racing to get back to the cozy fires of Hell. He kept up a nearly non-stop profanity laced monologue haranging every other driver on the road. One day he would smile and chat when you got on the bus, others he would snarl. He cut off other vehicles and was in at least 2 minor accidents that I know of. He only seemed vaguely aware of the concept of a ‘brake pedal’ until he would suddenly remember what it was for about 8 inches before a stop was required.

The great thing was, he always got us home on time or early, usually early. I miss him.

I think you need to find a different bus route.

:smack: I-94. And I even previewed and still didn’t catch that…

Preview on the main message board page gives only the first word - here was I hoping for a scathing attack on a particular Pokemon species.

Did they go airborne over bumps? I swear I was in a GO bus, a big intercity highway coach, that left the road vertically at about 120 km/h on the bump on the old Humber River bridge in Toronto. (They have since replaced the bridge a) because it had a really fun bump, and b) because pieces fell off so regularly that there was a permanent sign advising of the bridge’s condition and whether it was open.)

Madison was having a law passed, to have video on buses declared not public information. It’s some of the fallout from a couple bad bus driver instances. Like even though the ex passenger is a jerk, you can’t drive down the road while he clings to the door trying to get back on. The video went public so what the driver and City Metro released wasn’t what you saw. The video showed the ex passenger is a dick too. So they want to use video against the public, but deny the public the use against them.

Sympathies to the OP from another daily bus passenger.

Yesterday, on the way home, the bus driver spent 10 minutes (seriously) trying to free the back doors from a small tree planted next to the street. They opened (automatically) into the tree and twigs were preventing the door from closing, which I suppose meant that he couldn’t just put it in gear and shear off the offending branches. Not sure how that works, but he was having a devil of a time and my co-passengers were becoming increasingly (and audibly) impatient.

First of all, why plant a tree less than a foot from the curb at a bus stop? This is an urban area, so I assume it’s a city beautification planting. Secondly, can bus drivers please be a little more observant as to how they’re lining up bus egress points with existing sidewalk structures? How is anyone supposed to get off the bus when there’s a tree, newspaper stand, mailbox, power pole, etc. blocking the door? Sheesh.

Oh fuck off.

I was stuck with a bus driver like this for a solid three months. See, in Boston, the bus drivers are allowed to switch routes quarterly, with senior drivers getting priority choice. (I got this from a bus driver when I asked him why I had a different driver every few months. It screws all the bus schedules up for a week or two while the drivers learn their new routes.) One quarter, we got a new driver who somehow never managed to leave the origin point (where I get on) on time, much less get me to my connecting bus. EVERY OTHER DRIVER with whom I’ve ridden has let me off at my connecting stop with enough time to grab a coffee or make a quick deposit at the bank before catching the next bus. With this driver, I would miss my connection completely at least once a week. Thankfully my boss used to ride the bus himself and is very understanding of the faults of public transit.

There is no misery like the misery of commuting by bus. See it lulls you into this false sense of security that unlike the fucking commuter rail, it actually runs and occasionally is on time. My morning commute is a dream. The bus leaves from the end of my street and deposits me in Chinatown. Just a short walk to the subway and a quick ride to school. 45 minutes usually. An hour, tops, door to door. Shaves 30 to 45 minutes off my commute. Going home is a little slower, but I can accept that, as the pike has traffic. It’s a fact of life.

But then there’s that dread. I look at my watch. It’s after 7. I won’t make the last 505. I need to take the 70 bus. I trudge from the green line to the red line. I stand at a horribly overcrowded bus stop. The bus comes. It’s filled with screaming children and people that look like they going to audition for the part of Thug Number 3 for Law and Order. It’s so crowded that people can’t get on. It doesn’t matter what time, for the next three hours the bus it like. And it only runs every 30 minutes. If there were more buses, more people might take it. But it is a perfect example of buses are like steerage, or worse.

Oh, and freaking fare boxes. They always seem to be broken. And a go 30 % of monthly passes won’t read by the end of the month, but you can’t my pass of a Charlie Card with a smart chip that can be replaced if lost, no. Instead I pay more than one hundred dollars a month for a flimsy piece of shit plastic over paper pass.

Right now, in the past week, the [DEL]ten[/DEL] nine (I missed one) least replied to Pit threads in the Pit forum are:
Is Bush a mouth-breather?
Weiners driving with cell phones (Minor RO)
FAA gives Southwest pass on safety violations
Frucking neighbor’s tree and ice
Can we leave wallet guy alone?
Vista file search - whaaaa? (no wildcard search ability???)
Happy Schadenfreude for Mr. 18330-424
A word about raw milk, if you will
Damn Snow, f*ck’n wrist

Would you like to know the ratio of starting the thread vs. first reply is to each one?

  1. < 1 hour
  2. < 10 minutes
  3. < 1 hour
  4. < 5 minutes
  5. 1 hour
  6. < 5 minutes
  7. < 5 minutes
  8. < 5 minutes
  9. < 5 minutes
    Would you like to know the difference between the time this thread was started and the time that I was the first reply?

6 hours and 55 minutes.

And please, don’t “fuck off”, I am not into tossing unnecessary insults.