*xxxx details are censored for my privacy.

“Hi,

I am lodging a complaint against the conduct of an xxxx (bus number here) bus driver on 5th Jan 2018 on a Friday night. Although I do not remember the number plate or the bus driver identification, I am still writing this feedback because this is not the first time I had an unpleasant encounter with xxxx (bus number) bus drivers. This particular incident occurred when I was taking the bus from xxxx (location) and was supposed to drop at ‘xxxx’ (destination). As I was unfamiliar with the route, I approached the bus driver for help. I have no idea where I am supposed to alight, so I asked the driver if he could alert me when the bus is approaching that stop. My Google map isn’t working that day, and I have just moved to Sydney, so I was feeling really helpless. I was shocked when the bus driver did not bother to answer nor look at me; merely brushed me off with a nonchalant shrug and a ‘don’t bother me’ attitude. I was already very frustrated that the driver was unable to help me, but his rudeness further annoyed me. I missed my bus stop and got very lost.

I went up to the driver again, and asked, “Is my stop over?” He said yes. The fact that he said yes already suggested that he knew the route from the start. Why wouldn’t he tell me at the beginning then? Left with no choice, I asked him to stop at the nearest bus stop.

As I was about to alight, I asked him, “Where are we now?” He was unable to even answer that question. I was appalled. Turns out, I dropped a stop so much further than my original destination.

This is not the first time it happened. Many times when I am heading to xxxx(destination) on xxxx(bus number), I was often met with unkind glares or ignorance when I approached the bus drivers for help. There was also a time where I tried to flag down a xxxx bus, gestured it to stop (and did so early, when I saw the bus approaching from a distance) but the drivers zoomed past me without bothering to stop. This happened twice along xxxx(street name). I was late as a result.

The behavior of the xxxx (bus number) drivers ruined my entire travel experience when I did not deserve such treatment at all. I paid for the service, I expect professionalism, good knowledge of routes and politeness, not someone who is grumpy and brushes me off.

Yes, I do take the partial blame for my lack of sense of directions, but I’m saying that the driver could at least been more equipped to help passengers out when they are unclear of the bus route. It is their job as a driver. Even if they are not sure, they could still be more professional and not be rude to brush me off like that. Because of my several unpleasant encounters with bus drivers, I now feel very intimidated to ask Sydney bus drivers for help, and very unconfident when taking Sydney buses. At least if they were nice and more assuring, it would make me more at ease knowing that there’s someone to help me out and make my trip more pleasant. I merely want Transport NSW to know what your drivers did so you can do something about it. Thank you.”

I have never once complained in my life, but this morning, I wrote a lengthy letter this morning to Transport NSW. Gone are the days where I tolerate such mistreatment of passengers and customers. My new year resolution is to be firm and stand up for myself in the right way, so I am doing just that.

My personal experience with Sydney bus drivers was so unpleasant that I do not want others to endure the same treatment. I really hope they can change.

Update: A few days later, I got a reply. They apologized and thankfully, I received the reply I wanted to hear.

“Dear Grace,

Thank you for your feedback regarding the poor customer service displayed by the State Transit Bus Operator of a Route M54 service on the evening of 5 January 2018. At the outset, please accept my sincere apologies.

The delivery of professional customer service is of high importance to State Transit, and incidents such as this are taken very seriously. Please be assured that the Bus Operator involved has been identified, and Depot Management will take appropriate corrective action. The Bus Operator will also be subject to on going assessment and monitoring to ensure his suitability to remain with us as a professional driver.”

Heh. Turns out NSW Transport does their job after all.