I got a letter today from a Green Party candidate outlining a plan for public transport in Auckland. A rail loop!
And then I found myself talking about the bus driver the other day who claimed that my 3 stage fare was actually 4 stages despite the fact that Maxx.co.nz claimed it was a 3 stage trip. I was complaining about the lack of information on the Maxx website. You can't, for example, find a route and then have a look at how the bus gets to the destination, where the stages end etc.
When asked "you didn't argue?" I responded "You don't argue with a bus driver. You need to get somewhere. Jeopardizing that aim isn't worth the dollar or so".
Talk to different drivers, and the rules are different.
Miss Bird got mugged because she had enough drivers tell her that she couldn't go to the stop that said "Stage End" on it. Instead of a well lit bus stop, she was forced to get off a stop early at a not so well lit stop with bushes everywhere. All of that over around 300 meters.
This is much the same problem I found at New Zealand Couriers. People frustrated at the company because the call centre staff weren't consistent in the information they were giving. This was probably due, in part, to the message that we were given. "Take as many calls in as little time as possible".
So if you want to improve Auckland's public transport system, the first step is to provide some clarity. Give people the information they need. Train the drivers to put across a consistent message especially around stage ends. A proper complaints system would go down a treat.
And hell, it'd cost the rate payer a hell of a lot less than putting in a rail loop.