time for me to kickstart this blog back into action.

the reason : the trials and tribulations of life and the pain of the daily commute.

basically, for the last 5+ years i have been using one of bristols park and ride services.

the 902 service which heads down the portway into the center of town.

the service has recently had a change of contract, and is now under the remit of first west, and to be fair they have replaced the old rusty bendy buses with new shiny double deckers, so it’s not all bad news.

some context.

since i went back to work after the death of bh, i decided to step back from full time work to concentrate on being a dad.
subsequently, i now work tuesday, wednesday, and thursdays.
i try to catch the 7:48am bus in the morning, and the 3:46pm bus in the evening.

these things rarely go to plan due to circumstances out of my control.

and to be honest for a lot of the time, i will accept certain variables being thrown into the mix.
but this morning was rather special.

due to the southbound m5 being empty, i managed to get to the portway terminal in very good time.
as i parked i could see the earlier bus (7:36am), and decided to give it a go.
i walked briskly towards the bus.
passengers were still queuing to get on so, it was not ready to set off yet.
i approached the bus door, and was within 2 metres when the last person in the queue got on.
as soon as he had got on, the door was closed.
i stood at the door and looked at the driver as he readjusted himself and position and waited to be allowed onto the bus.
this lasted 5-10 seconds. in other words the driver had not even started to set off.
then the driver looked at me, shook his head and drove off.

i checked : the bus was nowhere near full.

i stood there somewhat aghast.

the driver of the bus parked up for the next service then wandered over to ask what the problem was. it was at this point this became somewhat surreal.

i questioned why i was not allowed on.

driver #2 : it’s the rules.

me : huh, but i was actually stood there, he had not even begun to set off ?

driver #2 : it’s all about the timetable. there are regulations. it’s all regulated.

me : don’t even go there
(i.e. as someone who has regularly had to wait 40+ mins for the 902 in the evening, using the timetable seemed to be an incredibly insensitive reasoning)

driver #2 : we don’t even have to stop and pick you up.

me : (now rather incensed) oh, how good of you to do so.

and it was this exchange of words that totally knocked me sideways.
here we are in 2016, a new service provider, and one of their representatives is telling me that it’s not about customer service, but the timetable and rules.
which is all the more galling as seeing that after 7am, there is no actual timetable, just the general advise ‘then every 12-15 mins’.

so, from hereon, i will be reporting on the 902 service and as to the success of their regulated timetable, as i can assure you of the 3 days a week i use the service, i get a very rare hit rate of success.



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