Thursday, November 15, 2012

Does Brisbane have the world's best bus drivers?

This will probably be the last blog post by BrizCommuter for a few weeks, and for a change BrizCommuter has something positive to say. Brisbane's bus drivers often get bad press, but BrizCommuter (who incidentally has used public transport in more than 50 cities, and on every continent apart from Antarctica) believes that despite a few bad eggs, the world's best bus drivers are in Brisbane. Why?

  • Politeness - it may help that most Brisbanites say a thank-you back. 
  • Helpful (1) - many a bus driver has been seen going out of their way to assist disabled and elderly passengers and/or their possessions on and off buses (useful as not all of the bus fleet is low floor).
  • Helpful (2) - drivers usually seem to give good advice to those with questions, and let passengers know when to get off when requested by passengers unsure of the route.
  • Patience (1) - drivers will usually wait if they see passengers running for the bus. 
  • Patience (2) - can cope with the unreliability of the go card system - "walk on, free journey"!
  • Driving - generally good driving skills, although white gloved Japanese bus drivers probably win the prize here. 
The high quality of Brisbane bus drivers is refreshing compared to London where BrizCommuter previously lived. In London, bus drivers were often rude, ignored passengers in wheelchairs, and had a lead foot on the accelerator and brake (often at the same time).  Is there anything that can be improved for Brisbane's bus drivers? BrizCommuter's main point would be to take care that buses don't run early at any point of the journey, which can happen during lighter than usual traffic conditions (e.g. school holidays, late at night). Also, always listen out for the bell!


  1. After recently spending time in Canberra I found their bus drivers to be exceptionally helpful for newbies that didn't know the network well. They were happy to answer questions and even tell you when to get off to reach your intended destination.

  2. There are good and bad bus drivers. I often sit at the front of the bus, so I see how the driver interacts with customers. I notice they're most often rude to foreigners with poor language skills. Particularly if the Go Card reader's not working, the driver will say "just get on", and the kids will be desperately confused trying to figure out how to pay. Just saying "free today" helps enormously, as that's less colloquial and easy to understand. It seems the drivers have no clue that what's obvious to them is not obvious to other people.

  3. Some bus drivers are rude especially when the passengers are not white or because their language is different. I just experienced it. It was night time, not many people on the bus so the bus is abit quiet. I talked on the phone not loud just normal voice and the bus driver turns off the engine and turns around and point at me and said 'you're distracting me, it's a public bus!'. But man, because it is a public bus and not your private bus you can't expect everyone to be quite! they have their own business to deals with. At least he should have some patients and service mind. I'm just get down on that stop can't bear with him. Next time PLEASE show me how to talk on the phone. Or just put a sign on that how many decibel is being restricted + a decibel tester!!!! So rude!


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