Bendy buses and the fair dodgers

I am not a great fan of these bendy buses, like most people I remain nostalgic about the lost double deckers.

There was a thrill attached to those double deckers, will the driver start the bus before you and your toddler have managed to get on it? Will you both make it to the seats or will you lose the balance and fall over your fellow passenger? And oh lets not forget those windy steps,should I start making my way downstairs whilst the bus is still moving thereby increasing the chances of losing my balance and falling down or should I wait till the bus stops thereby increasing the chances of missing my stop? It was all fun. And now all we have are these boring old bendy buses which are supposed to be a lot safer, but I’ve been told that they make cyclists lives miserable. But then again anyone who cycles in London must be suicidal I suppose. Transport for London website tells me that these bendies can carry 40 passengers more than the double deckers and these buses are also extremely time efficient. But that doesn’t stop me from wondering about the amount of fare dodging that must take place.

The last time I took one of these bendies, having been away for couple of years I didn’t realise the difference an oyster card could make. When I tried getting a prepaid ticket from the dodgy looking machine near the bus stop, it promptly ate my £1.50 and happily stared back at me doing nothing. Yesterday on the other hand using my oyster card it cost me a reasonable 80p and got to admit it was hassle free. But what did strike me during my half an hour journey was that apart from me (feeling very smug right now) only one other person validated their oyster card in that half an hour. I am having difficulties in believing that most of the other passengers had prepaid for their journey in one way or the other.

2 Comments so far

  1. jon (unregistered) on August 29th, 2006 @ 5:16 pm

    I was once on a bendy 73 returning home from the city centre on a friday night. The bus driver kindly informed the passengers that a ticket inspection would be taking place at the next stop and that anyone without a ticket should get out now and buy one. After a short pause and a few looks of confusion and paranoia, a quarter of the bus got off to buy tickets while the sound of 12 or so Oyster cards being swiped rang through the air. I think alcohol has a big effect on people’s fare dodging bravado.

  2. Ursula (unregistered) on September 2nd, 2006 @ 12:53 am

    They need to get rid of bendy buses. Or only allow people to get on at the front of the bus. That’s what they do in Chicago.

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