Saturday, August 03, 2013

MTL buses - bureaucracy gone mad

Here's a horrible story about a mother fined $219 by Montreal Transit for not having the exact change for a bus fare -- at ten o'clock at night, with her toddler in tow, after spending five hours in the emergency room, kicked off the bus for trying to give a bus driver a $5 bill for her $3 fare.
So why wouldn't he just accept the $5 bill?  Why did he call the inspectors on her?  Why are Montreal bus inspectors driving around at 10 at night handing out fines and kicking mothers and children off buses?
Why didn't someone else on the bus pay her fare?
What is the matter with these people?
Municipal transit companies are always whining about why people don't take the bus more often -- and then they treat their customers this way. This kind of attitude is EXACTLY why nobody wants to take a bus anywhere anymore. UPDATE: A commenter on the Montreal Gazette story provides more details:
My husband Wayne Larsen, and I were on the bus. I did offer to pay her fare to both the driver and the inspectors. I was told by the inspector "No, no, it's ok, it's free." I assumed that meant they were giving her a warning like they did to the other passenger. I thought they would drive her home. I had no idea that this was how the situation ended or I would have stayed. We told the Gazette about offering to pay her fare.
This makes it even worse -- the bus company decided to "punish" her for the effrontery of trying to pay her fare with a $5 bill -- instead of just accepting the fare from another passenger, they wanted to make her wait with her toddler on a streetcorner in the middle of the night for another bus. That'll show her who is in charge around here!

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