There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Those @#%&$! RT drivers

I once had a bus driver abruptly start the bus as I was walking to a seat in the back. I was the only passenger and I ended up almost falling into a seat. Was she messing with me?

The thought occurs to me now because the guy over at RT Driver has been cut to the quick by the discovery of detailed instructions for how to complain about Sacramento Regional Transit drivers.

A woman who calls herself Hearten Soul published the article back on Oct. 31, 2006. The article is part of a site that invites people to create content. In exchange, the site offers payment based on how popular the article is. (To enhance her "performance bonus" you can visit her article here.) Her most recent offering is "Master the Art of Meat Carving," which from the viewpoint of the RTDriver guy probably makes sense.

Hearten Soul's bio doesn't offer any expertise in transit management issues, although the article sounds as if it were written by someone who works -- or worked -- in RT management. For "Education/Experience" she lists: "Education comes from within; you get it by struggle and effort and thought."

I've only been riding RT regularly for five months, but I have never had reason to complain about a driver.

On the other hand, I have seen a passenger yelling and cursing a driver for not keeping to the schedule.

And I have seen a woman visibly upset because the bus missed a connection with a train that it WASN'T scheduled to make.

RT is a big company with lots of drivers. I'm sure there are some bad apples. Perhaps a few guys think because they've got a huge bag of seniority they don't have to make an effort anymore.

But I'd be willing to bet my monthly bus pass that the vast majority of RT bus drivers and train operators consider themselves professionals and attempt to perform their job in a professional manner. I might even be able to work up some sympathy for the people who handle the 321-BUSS calls.

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