bus driver

Keep complaining. Driverless buses don’t need bathroom breaks

Unmanned buses in Italy

Unmanned buses in Italy

How long have buses been around? Like forever…and bus drivers for the same amount of time.

Surely bus drivers have this sorted?

Bus drivers pushing for better bathroom breaks say they are sometimes stuck in the driver’s seat for more than five hours at a time.

The issue is particularly prevalent on the three Auckland Link bus services, where buses run on a continuous loop through the city in an effort to make the ride efficient for inner-city travellers, bus drivers say.

Auckland Tramways Union president Gary Froggatt said waiting five hours for a break is “unacceptable” and the issue will be raised during negotiations in November.

The union has seen a number of bus drivers penalised in court in the past for parking in a bus stop to make a quick dash to the loo, with some even carrying empty soft drink bottles with cut-off tops to use at the back of the bus when no passengers were on board.   Read more »

We should have run the old dears down.

For the first time in 46 years I lost my temper in public. I am not proud of the tones I used or how I showed my anger but I was amazed both at what happened and the response my anger got.

I was teaching Miss Whaleoil to drive. Her second ever lesson. We were using a park that has internal roads. Where the park road joins the main road you can turn right then right immediately again onto a short curved road that buses use in order to easily turn. This links back onto the park road again. It is only about 30-40metres in length.

The existence of this road makes it easy for learners using the park to do a continuous loop, up and down the park’s internal roads.

We had used it a number of times and as we turned into it there was no bus to be seen. Before leaving this short curved road my daughter gave way and indicated left as it was her intention to turn left onto the Park road. At this point a bus pulled in behind us and honked the horn.

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I told my daughter to stay calm (ironic I know, given what happened next ) and just before she pulled out I told her to wait as two very slow, elderly people were crossing the road to her left in order to head towards the bus. The bus driver could clearly see this and that our indicator light was indicating left ( ie we were not parked ) but she honked the horn a second time.

Read more »

An email from a truckie

Yesterday we wrote about immigrant drivers and a commenter expressed his view about the responsibility of the industry.

I have received this email from an industry insider:

Dear Mr Whale Oil,

I believe that the government has made an error in removing truck drivers from the skill shortage list.

In this case I agree with what the Herald journalist has written, and I know that a mistake has been made with this decision.

It was interesting to read your piece, and the comments.

Without doubt there is a shortage of drivers in New Zealand, and in most of the developed world. This is because these people (drivers) have special skills, and we aren’t making them fast enough.

Ken Shirley said it takes years to make a Class 5 driver, and one of your commenters said that it takes a much shorter time. Please understand that this is not about getting a licence. Any half-arsed dickhead can get a licence. I am talking about being a driver of a unit weighing 40 tonnes, driving head on towards you, and worth $500,000. Not anyone can drive one of those. Not anyone can get ability to drive a heavy vehicle in a short time. The guys we train take about 3 years to get to that level.  Read more »

She peed inside the Naked Bus


Fair dismissal?

A Naked Bus driver who allegedly refused to let a young woman go to the toilet – forcing her to urinate on the bus – was sacked over his treatment of passengers and dangerous driving.   Read more »

If this happened in NZ

If this was in New Zealand he’d be off to a tribunal where he’d;

  • Get his job back for hurt feelings and a massive cheque to say sorry
  • Probably then sue his employer (and the government) for illegally spying on him by watching the video of his stupidity that he chose to post in a public forum!

A Singapore bus driver has been fired after he was caught on video trimming his nails while driving along an expressway.  Read more »

The wheels on the bus go round and round…

I’ve found the bloke to drive the Mana Party Bus around. I have adjusted the story from the Herald to reflect the Herald’s constant use of the “Hotchin Principle” for leveraging a story off someone else’s name.

An accident-prone bus driver who crashed 10 times in less than 18 months has lost his battle to get back behind the wheel.

Alan Slater, whose surname is the same as prominent blogger Cameron Slater’s, hit a bollard, a wheelie bin, a bus-stop sign, several other vehicles – including two parked buses – and drove the wrong way through a bus wash during his short career as an Auckland bus driver.

He also got into strife with his bosses for struggling to stay in a bus lane when driving, not waiting for passengers and turning up late to work.

…Mr Slater, whose surname is the same as prominent blogger Cameron Slater’s, began working for New Zealand Bus in May 2008, and was assessed as competent to drive solo in July.

Two weeks later, managers were expressing concern about his driving, in particular positioning of the bus and concentration.

Little more than a month later, he was observed “having trouble staying in lane”.

In mid-October that year, Mr Slater, whose surname is the same as prominent blogger Cameron Slater’s, had his first fender-bender, when he hit a wheelie bin.

He said the bin’s owner should not have put it so close to the kerb.

In January 2009, he was in trouble for not stopping for passengers, then he hit a van’s tailgate and a bus-stop sign in one week in February.

After more incidents, Mr Slater, whose surname is the same as prominent blogger Cameron Slater’s, attended a defensive driving course in May 2009, but in the same month he collided with another vehicle. The company accepted his explanation that he was not to blame.

Between June and October 2009, he had another four accidents – three of them with stationary objects.

The final accident came in March last year when he hit a concrete bollard.

Mr Slater, whose surname is the same as prominent blogger Cameron Slater’s, told the Herald seven of the 10 accidents weren’t his fault and the other three involved mitigating circumstances.


Only 10 accidents, and they are all someone else’s fault.


Right attitude, right ability, this guy will go far in the Mana party