Going on buses is not something I do a lot of because I have the good fortune to have a car...and I'm lazy.
But recently I used a bus to get into town and I couldn’t believe my eyes at the price of tickets.
Cash fares are based upon 'fare stages' – the fare is calculated dependent upon the number of 'fare stages' in the journey.
Each bus route is split into a number of these fare stages, each one of which contains on average 3 bus stops. The fare goes up each time a new stage in reached.
Buses have an exact fare policy and the driver cannot give change, so you’re stuffed if you only have a tenner.
For children the fares are: 1 stage, 70p; 2-3 stages 90p 4+ stages, £1. For adults the respective fares are: £1.20, £1.60 and £2.00.
To be fair to them a child’s day ticket can be bought for £2.00 and an adult one for £3.00. But can you imagine the not unlikely scenario of a mum and dad and 2 children wanting to go downtown? The return journey, even using the day tickets, will cost £10.00.
On the other hand, from anywhere within Dundee the average family car can make the journey to the centre of town and back at a maximum of between 50p and £1.50 in petrol, and I’ve never been unable to find a space in the free car park at Gallagher’s shopping centre. The net saving is for our average family is, therefore, at least £8.50!
So what kind of sense does it make to struggle with you purchases on the bus when you can drive into town for a fraction of the bus cost?
And the added advantage is you miss the surly attitude of the typical National Express bus driver and the likelihood of having to sit on a seat that some ned has had his dirty feet on, next to a old nechter who’s spent the lunchtime in the pub and whose breath would strip paint.
But please note that dogs travel free, so if any canines are reading this.... you know what to do!
Just a thought!