Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Where is my bus?

Good morning, so my bus came on time today which was a great thing. Following up from yesterday's post about my bus not showing up. I spoke with my friend that takes the same bus from Langley Centre (I get on at 53rd and 204th). Apparently he was just really early. Two of us at the bus stop had to walk up to Langley Centre yesterday. Anyway, my friend told me that he was "driving like a bat out of hell" to the Starbucks at Fraser Highway and 201A Street. My driver pulled over to the same Starbucks today, but he wasn’t early. I have no problem with drivers getting coffee. With the stuff they have to deal with daily, they should all get free coffee cards. But it shouldn’t be at the expense of picking up riders.

I gave Translink's Customer Relations a call this morning to inquire about this. I spoke to a very nice lady who told me a few things. First, they normally hear complaints about the 502 being late, not early. This makes sense as traffic on Fraser Highway is unpredictable, but I’m one of the first bus stops in the morning. Second, bus drivers are allowed to pull over and grab a coffee as long as it doesn’t make the bus "like 30 minutes late." Third in theory, it would be alright for a bus driver to gun it from timing stop to timing stop. To put my bus stop into context. The timing point at the start of the route is 40th Ave at 208th St which is at 6:27am. I’m normally at the bus stop at 6:30am. The bus normally comes at around 6:35-6:40. There is no way you can make it from 40th at 208th to 53rd at 204th via 200th Street in 3 minutes unless you are doing some major speeding. I digress. The lady in the Customer Relations department told me that yesterday was the day when all the drivers changed their routes, so that might explain the very early bus. Anyway, she told me that a transit supervisor will be checking to see if the bus is leaving early from the timing stop tomorrow. I’ll let you know what happens...

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