Dear Mr. LTC Man

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KevBo avatarDear Mr. LTC Man,

My name is KevBo and let me start off by saying that I love taking the public transit in London, Ontario. You heard me right, I said I love taking it, and although I’m sure you don’t hear that very often from your customers I’m sure it’s a welcomed comment.

I use your service because its on time, convenient, reliable, cheaper than gas, and allows me to get a couple of hours of reading done each day. Its not because its luxury transportation that I take it, but rather that it’s the only option out there to me. But enough about things you have no control over (ya, right).

I have always had issues with the service you have provided but I have lived with those issues. No-one is perfect, not myself nor you, and no service is perfect, not the LTC, TTC or any service like, so I live with the ups and down of the services you provide, or rather the services you say you provide (but very often never deliver on). Every service is going to have its flukes, and that’s alright by me, its OK to make mistakes because if we didn’t we wouldn’t be human.

With that said I have two very large beefs with you. Both of the following happened today and are an ongoing occurrence with the reliable, somewhat reliable, daily service you provide.

First, why must you drive by my stop on a daily basis when I am clearly standing there with no less than 10 people around me? Perhaps I am the invisible man and those that surround me are of the like. Hmmmm…. The answer you gave to me was no good in my books (or anyone else’s for that matter).

You informed that the stop I was at was not in service today because of the construction in the general area. That’s a very funny statement given that I saw two other buses stop at my stop prior to you passing me by. There was no sign posted to say that it wasn’t in use, why wasn’t there Mr. Bus Driver Man? You can blame your supervisor, the LTC mobile support, the man at the top, hell you can even blame Little Baby Jesus, but the fact of the matter is there wasn’t any signs posted and as part of your job you should have done two things:

Stopped and picked up the people that were standing there, that is your job after all isn’t it? If it wasnt “safe” to stop at the designated stop how about just stopping up from it and wait for the people to walk to where you are?

2) Called into LTC headquarters so that they could have sent someone out to post a sign. (perhaps your Bus phone was broken and you didn’t want to use your personal cell phone for anything other than the personal calls you make WHILE DRIVING!!)

Now don’t tell me that I’m not in the position to tell you how to do your job, because without me (or those other 10 people at the stop) you wouldn’t have a job. You may have heard that before, but lets be honest, its because people want to ride the bus that you have a job, otherwise you might be delivering pizza for a living. (not to pick on the pizza man, it’s just the first example of a driver that came to mind.)

The second issue that I had with the LTC today occurred at the same time. Along with me getting onto the bus there were three very kind ladies of an older generation, older than me and older than you Mr. Bus Driver. Before going any further let me please ask a question: what is that thing you are driving called? An Accessible Bus? Oh ok. Now that we have that cleared up do you know how to use that accessible part of that bus? The kneeling feature of the bus? You do? Ok, so why is it then that you didn’t bother to use it this morning (or for any other morning) for the nice ladies who were trying to board the bus)? Good thing I was standing behind them or they would have fell flat on their backs and hurt themselves. I would have thought that after the first woman attempted to climb into the bus that you would have lowered the bus for the next two, but apparently you weren’t paying attention to realize what was going on.

Now I’m not saying that you are ignorant, irresponsible, that your attention is short or you just don’t know what the requirements of your job area, but I stood there wondering, and still am wondering, why you didn’t do a damn thing? Its not like you had to get out of your seat and help the ladies yourself, all you needed to do was ask them to wait a moment so that you could push a button and let the bus do all of the work. I’m very disappointed in you Mr. Bus Driver Man.

I just don’t understand how these two continual problems (among many others ) keep going unnoticed. Calls to the LTC “hotline” are completely useless as you can never speak to anyone that has any idea of what’s going on out in the real world, beyond the TLC headquarters’ walls.

Perhaps LTC drivers like yourself would take your job a little more serious if you weren’t listening to music (I see that ear bud in your left ear), listening to your police scanner, talking to your wife about how much you hate your mother-in-law on your cell phone WHILE DRIVING, or talking to your LTC buddies instead of paying attention to your driving, the passengers or your actual job.

With that said Mr. LTC Man I really hope that you clean up your act and change your attitude surrounding your job. Its not just you but a good proportion of the drivers out there that give the LTC a bad name. The people that rely on you through the day need to know that you are there to do your job, not simply to show up, go home and wait for the pay check to come in. If you’re not into the whole “customer service” sort of thing I strong urge you to rethink your career move and do something else where 1000’s of people don’t rely on you to get them around on a daily basis.

Sincerely,

KevBo, an avid bus rider

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One Response to “Dear Mr. LTC Man”

  1. NIAC Says:

    Here, here!

    I am one of those people who uses the bus primarily to get from home to work (3 buses, one hour, on PERFECT days) and from work to home (3 buses, one hour, again, on PERFECT days) every weekday.

    Although I have to agree with what you have written, and I am a person who knows some of the operators personally – even related to some, I have seen “the good ones”.

    For example, the Accessible bus on which I was riding was about 12 minutes behind (according to the new AVS) because the operator picked up an elderly couple, one of whom was in a wheelchair. At a railroad crossing on this run, a very, very elderly woman could not traverse the railroad tracks at the sidewalk (using a cane, should literally could not get over the spaces) and had navigated to the middle of the right lane in order to try getting across the steel plates. The operator had to wait, since she was in the road, and decided to jump out of the bus, help her off of the street, across the tracks and up onto the sidewalk again.

    About five minutes there.

    A few stops down, at the Shoppers Drug Mart, he had to help the aforementioned couple, one of them using a wheelchair, to exit the bus. Arrving about 22 minutes late, the last Sovereign Road had left Argyle mall almost 10 minutes before we arrived. I simply stayed on the bus, and got out as close to work (about 5 km) as I could, and walked.

    Sometimes, it isn’t the operator’s fault.

    However, I have dealt with operators that I would rather strangle than flash a bus pass to. The thing is, the true asshats operators already know that they are the asshat operators. The Union is required to help them keep their job, no matter how bad they are at it.

    BTW, I have a strong suspicion that at this time, there is a slient work-to-rule going on with LTC operators, in protest to the new system. This is why operators who would have waited 30 seconds for a passenger who is getting off a Highbury to get to their Dundas bus before leaving. It is extremely frustrating, however, they are keeping to the time displayed on the new computers.

    People don’t point at the bus and blame the management. They always point at the driver.

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