I have been known to take myself off on trips to places on my own. The three most recent ones were to Derby, Milton Keynes, and Birmingham (via Coventry).
Due to the fact that I cannot drive I am reliant on Public Transport – and I prefer travelling by bus to travelling by train in England (although the return journeys from Derby and Birmingham were by train).
I must admit to having very low expectations when it comes to service buses in England – after all I am not the sort of passenger they really cater for. They seem to cater for passengers who can move fast enough to find a seat without breaking their necks as the bus slams on its brakes when approaching a roundabout or traffic lights at full speed. Not only that but I am so used to having to guess which stop I am approaching it is not funny.
Today I found a bus which I wish every bus company could buy. It was under the National Express West Midlands “Platinum” brand – and it was Platinum standard.
Not only did they have drivers which let the passengers find seats and sit on them before the bus pulled away from the stops – they had information about the stops in a format even I could access easily.
The electronic screen showing the names of the next stops had big bold type (in fact, I wish the train companies could borrow the same screens). Not only that but the verbal announcement of each stop was clear.
Now – I realise that you may find hearing the name of every single stop on a bus route intensely irritating after a while but spare a thought for those of us who need them.
There are certain conditions where I cannot tell you where I am (very bright sunshine or at night) – so me looking out of a window isn’t going to be much use. Also, if you make the writing on the electronic display very small I cannot read it very well. So I prefer hearing the names of the stops.
You might take the idea of having displays telling you the name of the next stop for granted but – to me at least – it is the small things which make the biggest difference.