Drivers love talking to me. Have I got that face to talk or is my charm that will never mean harm? Sometimes they talk to me about public transport and provide their opinions and/or suggestions and pardon the pun, 'I take it on board' myself and mostly publish them on our blog. Now some of them do not know that I am a public transport advocate until I leave the bus and them our little slip with our details on it! Their faces are amazed and then I get the beautiful word, 'Thank you' or even 'Thank you very much'!
Did I fool them. No it is so good to make conversation with bus driver and wait for their reaction! During the day they may face abuse from the public or even little thanks!
Any way the bus driver that I spoke to tonight was really excited to talk about the ETS that will be introduced on buses in 2015. Although providing tickets, receiving cash and proving cash change it a secondary part of the job of a bus driver, as time goes by 'Cashless buses' will be everywhere in and around Mount Druitt. He is still happy to accept money to pay fares when the ETS will be introduced
This will hard for the community to accept in the beginning, especially when they are not used to purchasing their tickets in their local shops. The bus driver said he thinks there will have to be allowances made, when the ETS is installing in 18 months or so within Mount Druitt and other areas.
The biggest problem will be someone who not aware of the ETS system and a commuter catches a late bus, no ETS Opal Card, no shops open that night near the Mount Druitt Bus Interchange. You can't sent the potential commuter to a shop that sells the ETS Opal card, then misses the bus & waits for next one or that could be the last bus.
Another situation is a visitor from overseas who has limited knowledge of English and our public transport system. I think bus drivers must be given the provision to sell ETS Opal Card or accept cash for single tickets and provide a brochure on how and where to get these cards locally.
There's one thing the bus driver and myself agree on was that the ETS will be introduced to trains first and by then a majority of commuters will be used to the ETS Opal Card by then, before using them on buses.