Friday, September 4, 2009

Fair Transfer Fare?

I’ve been riding the bus quite a bit in the last few years. I usually have a bus pass but when I don’t I pay the fare and pick up a transfer, even if it seems I won’t need one. Most drivers are lax about the transfer; they either give extra time on the transfer or don’t pay much attention when people drop the transfer in.

The other day, I paid the fare into town. I usually pay attention to the expiration time on the transfer, but not that day. When I tried to use it, the driver called me back. The transfer had expired.

That’s when the driver starts to scold me. “Did you ride this bus before? When? How many times?” and other stuff, like I’m an idiot. He was not at all nice about this occurrence.

I thought about getting off the bus, going to buy a bus pass and come back to another bus, but I decided to dig out 2 bucks. I put the dollars in and start digging in my bag for a quarter (fare is $2.25) when the driver says, “That’s good.” He wasn’t nice about this either; he wasn’t letting me off on the quarter to be nice. He gives me a second transfer, shows me that this one expires at 7 pm. I go and find a seat.
Yes, I should be more careful about the rules of the transfer. I need to be, I want to be, a person of integrity. As I said, I usually pay attention to the transfer time.

But I’m confused. I caught the first bus at 9:30, the first transfer expired at 11:45. A transfer is to be good for 2 hours, so that was correct. The first bus driver was good about the transfer rule.

The second bus was at 2. The second transfer expired at 7, 5 hours later. That is 3 hours more than the time for which the transfer is supposed to be good.

And I repeat that the fare is $2.25 but the driver, the indignant one, let me off about the quarter.

I don’t know how to feel about this. The first bus driver was fair about the transfer. I should have been fair about using the transfer. It’s refreshing that the second driver called me out on trying (not purposely trying to cheat, just careless in thought) to use the transfer unfairly… but that soured when he was unfair in the transfer that he gave me and for being lax about 25 cents.
So. I’m either gonna get a bus pass or be more diligent about being mindful of the transfer time. I guess that’s all I can do. Or drive myself.

Mahalo for reading.