As mentioned previously due to the lack of parking at my training facility I've been having to catch the bus into Kidderminster from Stourport, it's been a while since I've had to do this for an extended period and it's led me to note a few things.
There are no return tickets anymore.
It used to be I'd travel in and then just want to return. I'd ask for a return and get a ticket that was punched to prevent reuse. Now I get an "Adult Day Saver" that gives me a whole day of being able to travel around on the bus.
Except I don't want to, and I doubt anyone who uses the bus to commute does either. I'd love to see the figures for how many of these tickets get used more than once.
Competition doesn't work
It should. Unlike trains that need to leave a massive gap between them there's nothing to stop buses following each other, it's the lack of information that renders this useless.
There are two main franchises in my area Diamond and Whittles, a day ticket with Diamond costs £2.60, with Whittles it's £2.30. They both arrive at my stop approximately 5 minutes apart. So if the Diamond arrives first I should decline it and wait for the Whittles.
However I have no information as to whether the Whittles service is running or even if I've just missed it, given the timeframes involved if I have to wait for the next 'cycle' I may only just make it in on time. I therefore pick the first to arrive.
However having done so I am now tied to that company, my day saver ticket is not redeemable with the other franchise.
Bus companies do not like day saver passengers.
Waiting to return with my Diamond ticket the correct Diamond service arrived, this was closely followed by the equivalent Whittles who upon seeing the Diamond was already there simply drove past. Had I a Whittles ticket I'd have been stuck.
Buses always have right of way
At least according to their drivers anyway. The route I was on always took me past the new council building. I've watched several times as the bus I was on pulled out to overtake a parked car while there was an oncoming vehicle, I've watched them pull out into traffic without indicating, I've watched them pull over without indicating. They've switched lanes on islands with no acknowledgment of traffic on either their left or right and pulled out onto said islands when they clearly haven't enough time.
All this in the certain knowledge that they are big and the other vehicle will stop.
Week tickets are a con for business use
If I were working a standard week catching the Whittles bus it would cost me £2.30*5 or £11.50. A week ticket costs £12. Supposedly though this would work with either company so some benefit there.
All the rolling stock is different
How hard is it to make a bus? It's a box with seats, yet I've not been on two alike. Some have more jump seats at the front, some have two levels, some have three levels. All have poles and bells at different places.
There are some benefits
For example the ability to take in your surroundings. Most notably driving past that massive overgrown concrete slab opposite the new council building that might well be ideal to turn into a Traveller site housing caravans. Odd that I don't recall seeing that as being one of the potential sites.