Bus fares – read it and Leap
Sir, – Something that has been an ongoing frustration to me as a bus driver on a busy cross-city route is the ongoing misuse of the Leap card.
Working in Dublin Bus for over 30 years, I have seen many changes, good and bad. “Changing with the City” has been our motto, and we have done that rather well.
The idea of these handy time- and cost-saving tickets is to give both passenger and driver free flow, thus saving overall journey time, if used correctly.
Unfortunately, increasing numbers of Leap card customers boarding our buses appear to believe that they have a right to travel free by possessing an empty Leap card being sufficient to travel, irrespective of the lack of funds to pay the fare.
Some appear to see me as their chauffeur, with no limit on their card, despite it saying clearly it is “In the minus”. As regular Leap card users, they do know what this means. There’s no credit left!
This often prompts a flurry of rooting in bags, or whipping out several more, equally empty Leap cards, while the other more compliant customers patiently wait behind.
Eventually, some cash will be found, accompanied by a request asking if I’ll accept their fare a few cents short.
Let’s be honest here. If I were to go to their place of work and ask for service for whatever I might happen to have in my purse, I’m sure I’d be quickly given short shrift.
Over the past week or so, I noticed posters around on both sides of the city emblazoned with “Save our bus routes” and “Hands off the buses”.
Why are Joe and Jenny Public surprised that the company is struggling to stay afloat?
After 30-odd years and counting, I don’t have the privilege of having a crystal ball to say what the future holds for Dublin Bus, or my job. But fare is fair!
If our faithful customers cared enough about prospective and probably very necessary changes that are on the way, how about starting with taking the correct money, for the correct fare, when they are planning to get on the bus?
It’s never too late to show true and meaningful support to the Dublin Bus we know and love. But the way things are going, it’s possible our bus service may just become another memory, like the rare auld times. – Yours, etc,