Monday: The new bus lanes went into action. Carnage ensued. Got 6a at 8.15 and it arrived in the city centre at 9.55. But that was always going to happen, I prepared for that. We were all prepared for that.
Tuesday: New bus lane carnage continued. Joined by Met apparently having record numbers for 9am classes. Got 6a at 8.15 and arrived in the city centre at 8.40. 26b 8.43 rammed to gills with Met students already and left without about 50 people. Met-specific 26c service was standing behind it with doors shut. Next 26b service is 9.15. Understandably peeved. Tackled Inspector. Inspector told me to get said 26c and walk from the Met. Inspector was shocked, shocked, when I ate the face off him.
Rang to complain. Had first-comes-first-served explained patronisingly. Explained that first-come-first-served is not the issue, the issue is that the schedule does not conform to the need and could someone please organise it so that people who need the service that goes three times in the hour can get on it, while the people using the service that goes TEN times in the hour do not. Also asked that she relay to the Inspector that it is not appropriate to tell people to ‘just walk from the Met’, especially given that ‘just walk from the Met’ involves, this week, a footpath-free diversion around Harland and Wolff shipyard. Inspector came and apologised. Inspector remains, in my mind, a wanker, becuase if he actually did sympathise he a) would not have said it and b) would have been down there running crowd control so that it DIDN’T HAPPEN.
Wednesday: In attempt to avoid repeat performance, got 6a at 8.10. Bus lane carnage continuing, arrived in city centre at 8.30. 8.33 26b rammed to the gills, doors closed in my face. Rang to complain. Had first-comes-first-served explained again in even more patronising fashion. Pointed out that this was not an issue until Met came back, which suggests the problem is not on my end. Got told to leave earlier to get preferred bus. Got cranky and asked for manager.
In interim, 26c failed to appear. Manager picks up. Rights of everyone to get on any bus they please are explained to me. Explained in small words that my right to get the bus I please is being violated fairly dramatically by the doors closing in my face. Explained in very small words that there are more people waiting for the bus than there is bus, that the university services on Sunday nights manage to segregate between people going to Queens and people going to Jordanstown perfectly well without damage to the ECHR, and that instead of telling me to leave earlier, maybe they could try doing that on the 26 services. Get on 8.43 26b, also rammed to the gills. Add that I’m willing to leave earlier to get the bus if they’re willing to come clean up after the dog when I’m out for 12 hours. Assured I will be called back.
Am called back. Apparently the Inspectors and scheduleers are out assessing the service. Apparently something will be done. Apparently she understands my problem. Didn’t see anyone doing anything constructive this morning, clearly they were in plain clothes. Point out that this could be averted by basic common sense like phoning the Met in August and finding out how many 9am starts they have. Or just looking at their Pupil Pass/Student Pass numbers. Tells me that’s the benefit of hindsight. Point out that if anyone was competent it would not need to be hindsight.
She says maybe the solution is to get a dedicated bus for the Met. Point out that is what the 26c is. Point out that the problem is that 17-year-olds are not all that bright (and are especially not all that bright at 8.30am) and nobody who isn’t 17-years-old is compensating for this. Apologizes. I refuse to accept the apology, since I need to see something change before I even pretend to believe them. Explain that I would like to hear it from the person allegedly running the clownshow. I’d like a bus that turned up on time and with space even better.
She says leave it with her.
Guessing pigs will fly before I get to work on time this month.