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Bus Mess 2010/09/25

Posted by Daddy Dave in Family, Reviews, Whinge.
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[Bus tickets inward]DP has never been on a bus, so we decided that we would take a double decker into the city centre and back to give him that experience. Ruthie and I had never been on a bus together, and we have never travelled on a bus as a family, so what a brilliant idea! 

It would also be an opportunity to show Oli about money and change and adding up.

It was certainly a bizarre experience; on the way in there was a spotty teenager shouting the whole time to his pal sat next to him about gang fights in New York! And yes, he swore every three seconds or less, oblivious or inconsiderate of all other passengers.

  • But it was the bus system itself that failed for us.

It was a First Bus number 38 for both journeys. We caught the bus on the south side at Kilmarnock Rd & Eastwood Avenue and asked the driver how much it would cost to take two adults, a five year-old and a three-year-old to he corner of Hope and Gordon just at Central Station (we were planning on visiting TGI Friday’s on the corner of Gordon and Buchanan). The return trip was almost exactly the reverse — from Renfield Street straight back to Eastwood Avenue on Kilmarnock Road.

It’s a straight road, the A77, simple enough? Oh no — not so easy!

We were charged £1.45 each, and the kids were 75p each, so the trip in was £4.40.  Now we had no way of knowing that this would be the cost, so we handed over a fiver.  The bus doesn’t give change, so we lost 60p.

[Picture of bus tickets return trip]It was going to cost us a tenner to travel the 3 miles and back. Fine; we made sure we got change and left a tip at the table when we left Friday’s leaving us a fiver for the trip home.  I was burstin’ for the loo, and the kids were tired, so we rushed to the bus stop on Renfield. This time, however, the driver said that the kids go free, so it would be just £1.45 for each adult — a total of £2.40 — damn; (a) we were ripped off going in and (b) we are getting ripped off again because we only have a fiver to pay for a £2.40 trip! No change is such a money-spinner!

That’s pretty ugly right there.  The trip there and back should have cost us just £5.80, but actually cost us almost twice that! How messed-up is THAT? I just do not understand why I cannot get change, and why I cannot swipe a switch card — what century is this? Good Grief, it’s villainous Highway Robbery, m’lud, and no mistake.

It’s not that we’re skinflints either, we have no problem paying whatever it is supposed to be. Who knows what the truth actually is?

Anyway, I scanned in the tickets for this post tonight, and spotted further incompetencies — the tickets for the trip inward are stated from Alloway Road (where’s that?) to Carling Academy!  That’s not even across the river! Carling Academy changed its name years ago to the O2 Academy. The return trip is described as Dundas Street to Regent Park Square — completely wrong!  I would reckon that we got off (having paid double the fare) about a mile further on than Strathbungo’s Regent Park Square! And as to Dundas Street? — Good grief; that’s the BUS DEPOT! –yet  we stopped the bus near Central — just up from Gordon Street for heaven’s sakes — miles away!

Basically, we could have been spot-checked and thrown off the bus despite paying more than necessary because of their self-made rules about never giving change!

The verdict is that the train is far better than the bus — consistent fares, they give change, they run on time, people are better behaved and quieter on trains.  It’s just the millions of stairs to get to the platform!  Sadly the bus was completely random, irrational and irregular.

Aside from that we had a brilliant time in the sunshine.  We put our names down at TGI Friday’s and went to see the buskers nearby on Buchanan Street — DP was fascinated and wary of the Red Indian musicians, Oli and DP loved the young chap with the superb football control skills and we gave loads of cash to him.  We bought the usual crap for the kids — fuzzy string on a stick and balloons.  The meal at Friday’s was delicious and great fun.  It was the busiest restaurant we’ve ever been to, and while we only waited 45 minutes for a table, we heard folks being quoted an hour to an hour-and-a-half as we were leaving. Wow!

DP scoffed all his baked beans and most of his gynormous hot dog (never eats the bun, mind you), followed by an ice cream.  He also drank most of his smoothie.  Oli scoffed three-quarters of the garlic bread, lots of her Spaghetti Bolognese, a smoothie and an ice cream.  Ruthie had a massive steak, with veg, and I had a Chicken Caesar salad as well as Oli’s side salad.  No puds for us, but lots of diet coke.  It came to about £35 — under £9 a head (not bad).  The kids loved  the balloon stuff — as well as singing along to the birthday songs at other tables!

We had rushed about all morning getting gifts for a birthday party tomorrow, I had Oli and Ruth had DP.  In the end she found the toy in Tesco —  that I couldn’t track down in B&M, Toys’R’Us, or ASDA! Oli and I got some groceries. We then all did a jig saw and played games before the bus trip into Friday’s.

The wee man was tired out and fell asleep on time — let’s hope he stays sleeping all through the night (recently he’s been waking up a lot and calling for us), we could do with some unbroken sleep for a change!

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Comments»

1. Charlotte - 2010/09/25

Sorry you had a nasty experience on the buses- I just acknowledge that I can’t get on a bus these days without the right change…

I hope your wee man gets a better nights sleep tonight, poor little vegemite…

Daddy Dave - 2010/09/26

Aw thanks, Charlotte. We’re sure things will settle down for him soon enough.

Most buses give change, but not First Bus — and they’re the only ones that run double deckers, so we knew we wouldn’t get change, mind you there’s no way of knowing how much the exact fare will be before getting on.

First must make an absolute fortune from irregular bus users and tourists!

We just wonder how come we accept this, where else would a no-change policy be acceptable? Weird anomaly!

LOL. It wasn’t sooo bad, it’s just hard to write it up without appearing to have had an absolute disaster. In fact it’s no biggie – more of a laugh really (and vindication of having cars).

2. Barney - 2010/09/26

Funny that they decided to call their chain TGI Friday as Friday has always been considered unlucky.

Not just Friday the 13th, but Black Friday was a serious financial panic in the USA triggered on Septembember 24th 1869 when Jim Fisk and Jay Gould tried to corner the gold market.

Friday was always considered to be a day of abstinence and mandatory fasting because Eve’s temptation of Adam AND The Crucifixion took place on Fridays.

Loads of people refuse(d) to transact business on Fridays. Sailors consider it to be the unluckiest day to set sail.

And everyone’s heard of a bad car being called a “Friday-made” car.


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