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Buses, Young Parents and Fares

(109 Posts)

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RedBlu Mon 10-Aug-15 13:40:23

Not really an AIBU, but more traffic here!

I catch the bus to and from work each day, occasionally a young woman gets on the bus at the same stop as me, she has a baby in a pram.

I don't know her personally but we have been on the bus together for a few months now.

Anyway, there is one bus driver who is known to be extremely rude and he tends to pick on young women, I have seen him many times shouting at customers. He is the sort that rather than politely explaining something, automatically starts shouting at you.

He was the driver this morning, the young woman asks for a "young person" ticket (so obviously she is under 19) and the driver refuses. Apparently her baby cannot travel for free if she buys a young person ticket, she needs to buy an adult ticket (another 50p). Babies only travel for free with an adult (not sure if this is right). She politely explains she has been getting this bus for months, and always buys a young person ticket and has never had a driver query it. This driver does he usual and explodes with rage, shouting at her saying he is the driver, he is right and that she isn't getting on without buying an adult ticket. She again explains the situation and that she needs to get to work and doesn't have any more money to buy an adult ticket. He continues shouting at her, she starts crying, he says he doesn't care and to get off the bus.

I step in at this point, give her the 50p to buy the adult ticket and tell him he is being rude. He then shouts at me saying he isn't being rude and we get into a bit of an argument before he gives up and starts driving the bus.

I have emailed the bus company to complain about the driver and told the woman to do the same.

HOWEVER, from looking online - the driver may have been correct (however doesn't excuse his disgusting attitude and behaviour). It does seem that if you are travelling with a baby (or any child under five) you have to have an adult ticket? Now, to me - this seems wrong. Surely it is discriminating against young parents? Clearly she is under 19, has a baby (its not unheard of is it!) so should pay the reduced rate young person fare, as she is under 19. How does the fact she has a baby mean she has to pay an adult fare?

Anyone else think this is wrong or is this normal?!

Artandco Mon 10-Aug-15 13:44:42

I agree it's wrong. If she is say 16/17 with a baby, she is unlikely to be rolling in money either so it would make sense if she can save a little here and there

SuburbanRhonda Mon 10-Aug-15 13:48:28

Whereabouts is this, OP?

I agree, it seems completely wrong. Surely a young person is a young person, regardless of whether they are also a parent?

HedgehogAtHome Mon 10-Aug-15 13:50:36

I agree with you completely. Even if you're right it's nice to be nice about it and the bus driver should have dealt with it better.

I know bus drivers do face a lot of abuse in their job, and they have my sympathies, but he sounds like he needs a refresher in customer service.

YUDOTHIS Mon 10-Aug-15 13:52:02

I've seen similar happen when I go to my nearest city to visit family. are you in cardiff OP?

TTWK Mon 10-Aug-15 13:54:11

Bus driver sounds like a twat but the rule seems fair. If she travels alone she can buy a young person's ticket at a reduced price, but only by buying an adult ticket can you take a child on free. I fail to see why that's unfair at all.

The bus company are in business to make money. They are happy for a young person to travel and a reduced rate, and they are happy for kids to go free with someone paying the full price, but they aren't happy for a kid to go free with someone buying a cut price ticket. Not unreasonable at all.

TenForward82 Mon 10-Aug-15 13:56:43

TTWK, either babies are free or they're not. Why should who they're travelling with make a difference?

OP, well done for getting involved and helping out. Bus driver was a power-hungry twat.

TTWK Mon 10-Aug-15 14:02:33

TTWK, either babies are free or they're not. Why should who they're travelling with make a difference?

Why not? If you're paying the full fare you get a baby on free, if you aren't paying full fare, you don't. That's a perfectly reasonable rule.

Restaurants sometimes do "kids eat free". But only if with an adult who is ordering a meal. I wouldn't expect a kid to eat free if the adult was only ordering a starter!

ProcrastinatorGeneral Mon 10-Aug-15 14:06:29

The rule is the same in my city too. It's stupid.

howabout Mon 10-Aug-15 14:12:37

I'm in Scotland so pensioners go free as does the under 5 child accompanying them.
Over the holidays my bus company ran a special holiday fare for DC and the drivers on our route all applied it whether or not an adult accompanied them.
On the trains kids only go free with a full fare adult but under 5s are always free.
I bet the driver would not have queried if the young Mum had a season ticket, which would mean that she would have been paying less.
I always pay full fare (but at least my under 5 is free) and even I think YANBU.

Pardonwhat Mon 10-Aug-15 14:19:29

What a horrible twat he sounds. Good on you for sticking up for her.

SuburbanRhonda Mon 10-Aug-15 14:20:32

The bus company are in business to make money.

It's certainly true they're in business to make money out of certain people.

It seems strange that this young woman has to give up her right to a reduced price ticket just because she has a child.

Whichwaytoturntoday Mon 10-Aug-15 14:24:24

It sounds like you can't combine discounts. So you can either discount your own ticket or have a free child ticket. Most businesses apply a similar rule to discounts.

SuburbanRhonda Mon 10-Aug-15 14:24:32

I'm in Scotland so pensioners go free as does the under 5 child accompanying them.

Interesting. I wonder what this driver would have done if a pensioner had got on with a child under 5. Would he have made the pensioner pay the full fare?

ShipShapeAhoy Mon 10-Aug-15 14:27:35

The poor women in your op! Well done on sticking up for her and raising it furthur with the bus company. I agree that rule doesn't seem fair at all. That driver sounds like a very horrible person regardless.

RedBlu Mon 10-Aug-15 14:31:44

Thanks for the replies, it just doesn't sit right with me.

I am 28, no children as yet, and I am pretty sure I cannot pass for under 19 these days. However, if I had a child, they could travel with me for free, so I don't pay any extra. However, this woman is under 19 and has a child, but does have to pay extra. It just seems she is being punished for having a child early on.

Also, I have a yearly pass, meaning I pay a reduced rate, how is that any different to her using the young persons discount of a whopping 50p. Also, what if an elderly lady was taking her grandchildren out for the day, would they be told to purchase an adult ticket so the child could go free, doubt it.

It just feels wrong and this nasty bus driver seems to have been the only one to have enforced this "rule" in the three months or so she has been catching the bus. If it is the rules, fine fair enough - I think its similar to discrimination but whatever, their company their rules. However it does not pardon his attitude, so I hope he gets a serious talking to when he returns to the depot.

SuburbanRhonda Mon 10-Aug-15 14:36:22

Maybe you could take the child on with you next time, OP so the mum can still get her discount smile

TTWK Mon 10-Aug-15 15:08:17

It just seems she is being punished for having a child early on.

How is she being punished? The bus co are saying she can either travel cheaply as a young person, which is giving her a discount, or take a child on free, which is also giving her a discount. But they are not allowing her to benefit from both discounts at the same time.

That's quite normal in business. If you ever get a money off voucher for a shop, it'll often say "not to be used in conjunction with any other offer".

SuburbanRhonda Mon 10-Aug-15 15:14:06

So, TTWK, what do you think should happen if a pensioner, who travels free, gets on the bus with a child under 5?

Should the pensioner pay the full adult fare?

I think the rule in shops about not combining offers applies to avoid people getting two or more discounts for the same item, not, as in this case, two separately discounted fares for people who happen to be travelling together.

SillyStuffBiting Mon 10-Aug-15 15:18:19

My mother spends half the day on the bus with my DS who is 2 when she's looking after him. Neither pay a penny for the pleasure. I'm never on buses so it's a huge adventure for him.

SillyStuffBiting Mon 10-Aug-15 15:20:17

Here you can also buy a day saver for an adult (so getting a big discount, depending on how many times you use it) and can take on as many under 5's for free as you can handle.

They are businesses but usually heavily subsidised ones providing vital transport to communities.

MaximiseProductivity Mon 10-Aug-15 15:26:11

Bus driver has behaved appallingly, but I don't see anything wrong with the actual deal re tickets.

All child goes free offers are that children go free with a full paying adult.

SuburbanRhonda Mon 10-Aug-15 15:27:40

And should two pensioners who happen to be married also not get both discounts when they get on the bus together?

The rule starts to look very illogical when you examine it more closely.

Tuskerfull Mon 10-Aug-15 15:29:33

TTWK with your logic, disabled people with free bus passes should have to pay if they want to bring a child on, as should pensioners. Do you really think that's fair?

Hilbo10 Mon 10-Aug-15 15:38:38

Whatever the 'rules' are surely the bus driver should follow reasonable professional customer service and should not shout at any passenger.
Well done you for stepping in and supporting this mum and baby. Also well done her for keeping down a job and looking after a baby, especially at a young age.
It seems society has lost some of its kindness and ability to think of a scenario as if they're in someone else's shoes.

If TTWK was stood next to this poor mum crying would she just agree that these are the rules and see her chucked off the bus.
Crikey - have a heart.

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