Being a bus driver in London is a tough gig. A earlier this year, a report was released revealing the high numbers of abuse bus drivers receive. Whilst the majority verbal abuse, around a thousand recorded each year, the second biggest threat was physical abuse. That’s crazy. Imagine someone attacking you for simply trying to do your job. Imagine having to sit behind protective glass whilst at work to protect you from aggressive people.
In addition to the abuse drivers get, they also are ignored. This is often unintentional and largely due to the positioning of where you tap in your oyster. People often tap and walk without acknowledging the person behind the glass. Imagine being ignored all day at work.
Last year, as part of a recruitment campaign to get more bus drivers, giant ads adorned the sides of buses highlighting the amount of money one could earn as a bus driver. About £500 per week. Imagine having your salary posted on your desk in plain sight for anyone to see.
Of course there are some bus drivers that don’t stop despite our earnest attempts at flagging them down. And we’ve all had drivers that don’t explain why the bus is terminating early. But we have also made it safely from point A to B because of the service they’re providing . Bus drivers are providing a public service – one that’s environmentally friendly, convenient and economical.
So the next time you’re boarding a bus to tap in, smile at the driver. It might just make their day.