READER REPORT:

Why commuters should complain

ROLAND ASKEW
Last updated 05:01 24/06/2013
bus
IT'S UP TO YOU: If you are unhappy with the public transport system, complain.

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Passengers 'treat bus drivers like dogs' Why commuters should complain

I am a regular 'mass transitter'. I have no car and my family and friends are spread throughout the Big Smoke.

I once went to catch a Go West bus to attend a support meeting. In the fluster of rushing to catch it, I blurted out an exact address to the driver by mistake. They responded with the most profuse, eye-watering, and skin-blushing tirade of expletives and insults I have heard for a full minute, until I fled the bus in fear.

In the past three years since moving back to Auckland, compared to my student experiences in the 90s, I am pleased to have not experienced any more insulting drivers and route-skipping on Howick and Eastern routes.

I am still shocked at the large section of the east left unserviced (by a private bus company that has a monopoly over the area), hence when visiting someone near Highland Park I had to walk nearly 30 minutes from the stop to reach them - and back after saying our goodbyes.

That said, the traffic nightmares of narrow lanes and roundabouts may make such routes impossible. The Aivemore Drive Roundabout alone can generate evening rush hour queues stretching up to half the length of Cascades Road.

Purple HOP cards and Snapper Cards have been an experiment in waste, frankly. It doesn't help that the HOP website refuses to acknowledge I have a tertiary concession, despite my institute registering one and my complaints. So I will just wait until the AT HOP card rollout is complete. Though, if I hear on the news that it is behind schedule, I will not be surprised.

Finally, a friend had interesting advice from one bus driver: If you don't like the service, the schedule, the driver's behaviour, anything, then make a complaint. Always make a formal complaint. Because the service is only as good as what the customers tolerate.

If commuters are silent about rudeness, speeding buses, skipped stops, late routes, false updates or buses not showing up, then that is precisely what they will get.

If you have any reason, complain. Always. It is your responsibility as a commuter. Straight from the mouth of a public transport representative.


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