I’m not sure about the States, but here in Australia we have a system called the “go card” where you upload money on to a card with a chip in it and you just touch it on this touch pad as you hop on and off the bus and it automatically calculates and charges you for the travel. You can still buy tickets, this is just a more convenient way of travelling.
But then there’s days when you realise you’ve forgotten to top-up your go-card, so then you have to pay cash and the ticket is a little more expensive. What’s even worse is there’s buses that are pre-paid buses, which means they are only strictly for go-cards and don’t take cash. So when you have 0 dollars on your go-card and the bus doesn’t take cash, you’re really in a bit of a tight spot.
BUT THEN, sometimes, when a bus driver is having a good day, they’ll let you on free-of-charge and those days are AWESOME.
It’s even better when the go-card pads don’t work and everyone gets a free trip! Hooray!
Or what about when you only have a $20 or higher note and the bus driver just takes a glance at it and tells you to get on because they can’t be bothered to deal with giving you the change in coin. That’s pretty freakin’ great, too.
Whenever it happens, I always imagine what the bus driver might be thinking… Probably something along the lines of “you silly bugger.” and if they do I’d certainly agree. So I’m very appreciative of free bus rides.
A big thanks to every bus driver who’s given a free ride to someone EVER. You’re HAAAWSUUM!
(Just a little tip – always say thanks to the driver before you hop off the bus. Even if it’s their job.)
Photo from here.