First Yellow School Buses

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Tom B

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27 Jul 2005
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4,554
What's the difference? They're painted yellow. So were all the buses here until First messed them up.

Luckily I don't use First to get to school, but another local company who are much more reliable - we are meant to leave a given stop at 0800, and the timing is precisely aligned with the Greenwich time signal!
 

TAS

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16 Jul 2005
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They're a big difference from what I normally get from First - a Leyland Olympian about 10-15 mins late that has had doors stuck open at least twice last year. Sometimes we get a crowded single decker or a coach. Sometimes it dosen't even turn up! Drivers don't always change display, I've lost count of the times we've been numbured 66,67E,71 and other numbers, which means we waste time while drivers tell people that this is not the 71 ect. At least it makes it obvious it's a school bus.

To quote First:'Each bus is fitted with seat belts and there are CCTV cameras to monitor behaviour on-board. As part of First’s commitment to improving child safety on the home to school run, each bus will have the same driver every day. Students will get to know the driver and the driver will know which students should be travelling on the bus. Each of the specially chosen team of bus drivers has received additional training in customer care, and knowing what to do should any emergencies arise during the journey.'
 

Lewisham2221

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Staffordshire
This might sound strange, but having new buses and regular drivers on school buses does seem to reduce the problem of unruly kids on school buses. Generally speaking, up until last year, most school bus services round here were operated by First, normally using the older buses from the fleet (Olympians and Deltas). It wasn't uncommon for fights, food fights and other bad behaviour (as well as vandalism) to break out on the buses. As posted elsewhere, I once witnessed the cleanup after an Olympian had all it's upper-deck windows smashed by the school kids on board. There was also a case that the local press made a fuss about when a food fight broke out on the bus, so the driver detoured from the route, drove to the depot and got off the bus, leaving the kids on the bus in the depot until they calmed down. Not to mention that when getting on a bus in the early afternoon you could always tell if it had done a school run in the morning because it would be full of cans, bottles, crisp packets etc.

Since First lost most of the school contracts things changed. Various independents took over the routes, often using fairly new buses and coaches, and all vehicles were a definate improvement from A-reg Olympians. In some cases, the buses usesd are brand new Solo's and MPD's. At christmas some of the buses were even decorated with tinsel etc inside. Did the decorations get ripped down? No. When getting on the buses in the middle of the day do you struggle to find a seat not covered in crisp crumbs and spilt cola? No. Any reported incidents of major fights etc? No. The county council also have a fleet of specially built school buses for routes under their direct control. These routes have regular drivers, and the school kids get to know them. In at least one case, the driver asks the older students to keep an eye on the younger kids, both looking out for them in case they get bullied and to stop them misbehaving. If they do start misbehaving, he asks the older ones to have a word with younger ones and ask them to stop.

So whilst it may at first sound stupid to throw new buses at school routes, it can actually be a lot 'cleverer' than you think.
 

Guinness

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Having First Manchester years ago, we used to have the same driver etc. And the same old Lynx. No Problems at all - And First ran it on time most days. No overcrowding on the Bus - Double Deckers were brought in towards the end. :)

Now its Bakers of Stoke-on-Trent. We used to get the brand spanking new Irizar Coaches Fresh out of Bakers Depot. There is now too much trouble onboard Bakers now. Last Year one Driver decided it was a great idea to turn the bus around and go back to School. 60mph down Narrow Country Lines isn't the brightest idea. In fact the School got 2 complaints from other road users. The same driver also accused a girl of breaking a seat on a coach on the Return Journey. That Same Driver also fail to realise that it was broken this morning.

Now its GCSE Year and what have Bakers done? Well up to now its the same couple of staff on the bus (One a Young Ticket Guy) and stuck a nice old Plaxton on our route. Next Step is to sort out the overcrowding... :roll:
 
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