Bus and Coach Buyer often shares news of bus and coach operations and other technicalities within the industry, however, experiences of regular bus users are not so common. My name is Mwika Bulaya and my main mode of travel is by bus every day. As I have been using these services for some time now I have experienced many changes to the services, some positive while others have not been so good. It is clear that the bus and coach industry is under an increasing amount of pressure to produce the same level of satisfaction for all passengers therefore I hope it is beneficial to share my personal experiences of bus services.
As I have been taking the bus for a while now, I have had many positive experiences. I have found that my local bus drivers are usually very friendly as they build relationships with recognisable and regular users. Not only does this create a welcoming atmosphere, there is also a sense of community between regular users of particular buses. Many passengers are also very accommodating to priority users such as pregnant women, parents with young children and prams and also the elderly. As well as this, I have seen situations when elderly people have needed urgent assistance and the bus driver and other passengers have been more than willing to help. With this in mind, I feel that overall my bus journeys are generally quite positive and I personally rarely have problems with drivers or other passengers.
On a more negative note, the general cleanliness of buses has been an issue for me. Problems have ranged from drinks being spilt and left unreported to the bus windows being covered in dirt leaving me struggling to find my stop on the way home. I have also found that online and printed timetables often differ to the actual arrival time of buses, not only is this an inconvenience for regular bus users but even more of a challenge for first-time users. This recurring problem has meant that I am either early or late to my destination so I find it difficult to rely on timetables. Lastly, I am disappointed that some bus services do not provide passes for students or young adults as fares are quite expensive, adult fares in some services start at 15 years old which is absurd.
Overall, I hope my experiences on buses have given an insight into the bus and coach industry from a passenger’s perspective. While I have differing viewpoints on bus services it is clear that similarly to any business, the bus and coach industry is expected to provide good quality services at all times.
Mwika is an aspiring journalist currently on work experience at Bus and Coach Buyer.