This afternoon, I went to visit my dad in East Ringwood, for the traditional Father's Day dinner. I planned on taking the 4:40 bus to Richmond, and then catching the 5:00 train to Ringwood, which would allow me to arrive at about a quarter to six. So I arrived at the bus terminus at 4:35, allowing ample time for the vicissitudes of public transport timing, or so I thought.
At 4:35, there was, curiously, no bus waiting to leave. Must be on its way, I thought.
4:40 rolled around, and no bus arrived.
4:45 came around, and still no bus. Perhaps it's a football day and it's stuck in post-match traffic outside the MCG, I thought, not looking forward to the prospect of being packed into a sweaty crush of bodies all the way to Nunawading or somewhere.
Finally, 4:55 came by and the next scheduled bus appeared. I asked the driver whether that was the 4:55 bus or the uncommonly late 4:40 bus, and it turned out to be the 4:55. I enquired about what had happened to the 4:40. It emerged that the driver of that bus had left the terminus early (more than five minutes before he was due, in fact). The driver of the bus I caught saw him in Richmond at a quarter to, and noted that as rather odd.
Perhaps he had a long day and wanted to get his shift over with as soon as he could, or something like that. Though that's little comfort to passengers who were counting on there being a bus leaving for Richmond at 4:40.
It's times like these that the idea of buying a car looks tempting.
(On the plus side: there were no football crowds at Richmond today, and I actually got a seat on the train straight away.)
Perhaps I'm a bit old-fashioned, but I like to believe in the polite fiction that the timetable posted at the bus stop has some bearing on what time the buses actually leave. IMHO, if I show up at 4:35 to catch the 4:40 bus, having to wait for the 4:55 bus because my bus left six minutes early is not reasonable.
Yeah fair enough. I guess if you're waiting for twenty minutes it is frustrating. And the best thing to do is spend that time thinking about how to best address your grievance against the public transport system in the hope that it will change....