Your say in making the buses better
I’d like to let you know about my experience today on the First Bus 747 service from Glasgow Airport, which I think provides a classic example of poor customer service. Having just returned from holiday, I decided to take this service home to the West End. I had never used this bus before so was unsure of its exact route, and asked the driver if it went along Dumbarton Road. The driver did not know where I meant, and indeed did not appear to be familiar with Glasgow street names. However, I decided to buy a ticket anyway, only to be told that it was exact fare only. Having just returned from abroad, I didn’t have the right change and indeed only had £10 notes – which I wasn’t prepared to use for a £4.10 fare. So – I took a taxi instead, which cost five times as much!
The “exact fare only” situation is absurd at the best of times, and certainly on the airport route, since I’d imagine that a high proportion of passengers would be in the same position as me. How many foreign tourists, students, and other visitors get on the bus, only to find that they cannot buy a ticket (and then how many end up paying over the odds because they can’t get change)? What sort of a welcome to Scotland is that?
I was also amazed that the driver didn’t know some fairly basic details of his route. I’ve no objection to bus companies employing people from outwith Glasgow but it’s surely not too much to ask that they are properly trained and able to respond to customer enquiries of this nature.