On Friday my mum and I decided to go into Glagow to browse in the shops and to have lunch. I could have taken the car, but thought a bus trip would be easier. The bus stop is just a few minutes’ walk from the house, which is so convenient, and then at the other end the bus station is just across the road from the shops.
It’s a while since I’ve been on the bus, so I had no idea what the fare would be. My mum was no help as she has a bus pass. Last time I had used it I thought it had cost around £3 so I had a £5 note at the ready when the bus arrived. I asked for a return ticket to Glasgow… £4.20 he said. I put my £5 note into the box as indicated by the driver and he punched out my ticket. I waited for my change… nothing. Oh, you don’t get change said the driver. What??? I was pleased I’d had the £5 – imagine if I’d only had a £20? I was really annoyed about that – there was no sign anywhere on the bus about the fact that change wasn’t given, or a sign which would have told me the cost of the ticket so that I could have tried to get the correct money.
When we got to the bus station, I spoke to the driver and he thought that there was a sign which said change wasn’t given – he even looked around by the bus door. Then he shrugged his shoulders and started speaking to the replacement driver who had just turned up to start his shift. I looked at at least 6 other buses that were waiting in the station, and none of them had ‘No Change Given’ signs anywhere.
I checked their website when I got home, and it does say that they operate on an exact fare, no change basis but I still think a sign of some kind on the bus should be in evidence. They also mention that you can claim the difference if you did not have the exact money. So, I followed the links to the very small print and found that I needed to have a report from the bus driver. I can’t imagine bus drivers appreciating their passengers asking for a report every time they don’t have the right money!
So… if you are planning to take a First Group bus in the Glasgow area, be sure to have large supply of loose change at the ready to be prepared for whatever your fare turns out to be.
To add to my irritation.. the ticket machine broke down just after I had paid and the other passengers who got on for the rest of the journey didn’t have to pay anything at all!