PRIDE (IN THE NAME OF BUS)
I’ve had to swallow my pride and get the bus to work. I would have had to give the rooster a shake (no, that’s not a euphemism) if I had to get up any earlier. As it was I was at the bus stop at 0635, 25 minutes earlier than I used to when we had the direct X57.
The bus, a D7, one of their new leather-seated, WiFi enabled carriages, is completely empty. I ask the driver for a “single to Edinburgh” and he replies, “How much is that, any ideas?” I just can’t believe these drivers! Eventually he finds the right buttons, only for the ticket to fail to appear from the machine.
I choose a seat and await the flood of X57 refugees. One regular, a blonde girl, gets on at the next stop and that’s it until we reach the Ferrytoll Park and Ride! Stagecoach has boasted of putting 29 new buses on the roads of Fife at a cost of £4.5m, which means £155,172 per bus. The world’s most expensive shuttle bus!
Luckily I get off and join the queue for the next bus. Only the X57 and 55 stop where I need to get off for work and as sod’s law would have it it’s an X57 that turns up. It’s another one of the new fleet and I make the mistake of sitting in front of a woman whose sole topic of conversation, to anyone who’ll listen, is public transport. I’ve had enough of buses to last a lifetime and the last thing I need is to hear all about it on the way over the Forth Road Bridge en route to work. I get out my mp3 player and turn out.
My plan is to get a £23 bus ticket in the morning and, when I can’t get a lift from my friends, a Flexipass for the train home between Haymarket and Dunfermline Town, which retails at £34. But at least it’s £34 that isn’t going into Stagecoach’s coffers.
I’m more determined than ever to make some money (eBay?) so that I can get my own car. I’ve always been a keen supporter of public transport but enough is enough.
When I got to work this morning I found an e-mail from Laura Cummings at the Dunfermline Press wishing to speak to me about the public transport problems. And there’s me thinking that the Dunfermline Press hated me.
Luckily Tricia is doing the Body Attack class and has offered me a lift home. I’m not doing the class because I didn’t bring my stuff but I’ll work on to build up some flexi time, just in case I get any more radio interviews soon!