Thrown off the bus? True story or details missing?

Thrown off the bus? Letter in newspaper today says this, written by expat in Taipei. RE:

[quote]I was taking the bus on Thursday morning from Danshui MRT Station to Motian 31, the same bus I take almost every morning, the R36.

The bus also makes a stop in Tamsui at Tamkang Senior High School and Aletheia University. Once the bus stops at this stop, the students get off and I am left on the bus with maybe one or two other people.

Thursday morning was different. Once all of the students got off, I was alone.

The bus driver started giving me nasty looks and shooing me off the bus with hand gestures. He was very unpleasant about it. I sat there for a minute because I did not understand what was going on. His looks got meaner, until finally he forced me off the bus. I was left stranded on the side of the road.

I am still in disbelief.

What if I had not had any money with me? What if I was a child? (Two stops away is an elementary school) I would never have been able to walk the distance to work and make it on time. Not only did I have to pay the bus fair, but also for a NT$100 cab ride.

It is exceptionally sad when you realize that you are not safe taking public transportation.[/quote]
Valerie Caroon

New Taipei City

I had a bus just this week ask me to get off in the middle of the route in the middle of the day on a bus I’ve ridden regularly.

One should always be prepared for unexpected changes in common situations, like riding a bus, including children and their parents.

Bizarre complaint. Original is here: taipeitimes.com/News/editori … 2003556703

I don’t see any safety issue here. “What if I was a child” - well she was not; bus driver might have acted differently.
And one would expect to tell their kid what to do when they get ‘lost’…
Talking some basic Chinese and asking why might have helped?
Complaining about spending 100 NT$ taxi ride… oh well…

She had to travel from 真理大學(淡江中學) (Aletheia) to 摩天31 (Motian 31).
Even with high heels it might just be a 20 minutes walk (about 1 km).
Or just wait for the next bus or get on one of the two other bus lines (there’s a lot of winding roads up there)…

I had extremely good experience with the bus drivers here, especially if you are able to communicate with them.

Bus info: pda.5284.com.tw/MQS/businfo2.jsp … E7%B4%8536
Tealit: tealit.com/ad_categories.php?sec … anguage=en

If this is the worst “Bus horror story” then I’m really not concerned.

Before leaving the bus, take out a piece of paper and write down the driver’s info.
It’s displayed in the upper right. You can’t miss it when exiting through the front door.

Take a taxi and make sure to obtain a receipt.

Then find out how to file a suit for reimbursement.

[quote=“Hamletintaiwan”]Before leaving the bus, take out a piece of paper and write down the driver’s info.
It’s displayed in the upper right. You can’t miss it when exiting through the front door.
Take a taxi and make sure to obtain a receipt.
Then find out how to file a suit for reimbursement.[/quote]
Or write a letter to a liberal newspaper that will surely have it printed! …next to a letter from a brainwashed Scientology kid :roflmao:

[quote=“engerim”]She had to travel from 真理大學(淡江中學) (Aletheia) to 摩天31 (Motian 31).
Even with high heels it might just be a 20 minutes walk (about 1 km).
Or just wait for the next bus or get on one of the two other bus lines (there’s a lot of winding roads up there)…[/quote]
She mentioned that she “would never have been able to walk the distance to work and make it on time” so I think that’s why she didn’t want to walk/wait for another bus.

[quote]I don’t see any safety issue here. “What if I was a child” - well she was not; bus driver might have acted differently.
And one would expect to tell their kid what to do when they get ‘lost’…
Talking some basic Chinese and asking why might have helped?
Complaining about spending 100 NT$ taxi ride… oh well…

I had extremely good experience with the bus drivers here, especially if you are able to communicate with them.[/quote]
Yep, totally agree with everything above.

When I was new here and didn’t know much Chinese, I tried to take a taxi to a co-worker’s apartment. However, the driver stopped at an intersection about 1.5km away and told me to get off there. I kept showing him the address, which was in Chinese, but he kept insisting that I exit the taxi there. I’m pretty sure he must have tried to explain the reason but I just couldn’t understand. I’ll bet Valerie Caroon’s situation was the same–her frustration probably would have been lessened if she could communicate with the bus driver.

[quote=“engerim”]Bizarre complaint. Original is here: taipeitimes.com/News/editori … 2003556703

I don’t see any safety issue here. “What if I was a child” - well she was not; bus driver might have acted differently.
And one would expect to tell their kid what to do when they get ‘lost’…
Talking some basic Chinese and asking why might have helped?
Complaining about spending 100 NT$ taxi ride… oh well…

She had to travel from 真理大學(淡江中學) (Aletheia) to 摩天31 (Motian 31).
Even with high heels it might just be a 20 minutes walk (about 1 km).
Or just wait for the next bus or get on one of the two other bus lines (there’s a lot of winding roads up there)…

I had extremely good experience with the bus drivers here, especially if you are able to communicate with them.

Bus info: pda.5284.com.tw/MQS/businfo2.jsp … E7%B4%8536
Tealit: tealit.com/ad_categories.php?sec … anguage=en

If this is the worst “Bus horror story” then I’m really not concerned.[/quote]

It’s not this easy to dismiss.
When entering a bus, I am pretty sure that we engage into a non verbal agreement between us the customer and the bus/service-company. The bus route is stipulated at every bus-stop including the official stops.
You don’t have to leave the bus any other than those stops. Everything else is a violation of this agreement.

The what if… is a good and very reasonable question.
What if you get hurt when exiting the bus? Who will be responsible and pay. Will the bus-driver confirm your story that you were forced to leave?
The are at least another 10 what ifs.

I think this story is waaaaay overblown. It has happened to be to be asked off buses in Taipei for reasons that I couldn’t understand at times. When my Chinese got better and it happened again I was able to figure out why and it always had to do with temporary stops being cancelled, the bus driver going off duty (which is usually displayed on the bus displays, though often only in Chinese) or similar stuff. “Not safe taking public transportation”?? Give me a break…

Not saying it cant happen, but sometimes a bus is doing a turn around after a certain stop (rare). This may be the case and she didnt know because she couldnt understand mando or read mando.

I still remember the time i was in HK and I was taking the train in the New Territories to Lok Wu (or something like that) to transfer to a mainland chinese train to guangzhou. But just one stop before , i noticed everyone in the train car get off cept me . There was an brief announcement prior to the stop but only in cantonese. I didnt think anything of it. Thought they were just announcing the stop. And i thought it was a bit strange that the 20 something people on the car got off just one stop before the destination of the train.

So i stayed on, nobody said anything to me. Then the train promptly took off again, but i noticed it went to a side line about say 500 feet away from the platform. And the lights went off (it was daytime luckily) and the aircon shut down. This was in summer time.

Now i was concerned. So i used the intercom , nobody answered. Train probably didnt have a driver as the system was likely automated.

I went thru the cars to the front of the train to see if the driver was there. NOPE. Doors were locked and i couldnt get out.

I thought, “ok its just going to go back in service shortly , i should wait” But it started to get hot in the sealed train and i got concerned.

Finally i busted the small piece of glass that concealed the handle for the emergency door and i got out of the train. I walked the 500 feet back to the station on the track. Avoiding the third rail. Lucky no trains coming. Then i hopped on the platform.

Nobody batted an eyelash.

The announcement apparently was something like (im guessing here) " everyone off , this train is going out of service" .

This was HK, one would think they would announce in english as well , like on every stop on the MTR subway !!!

And HK people are less then helpful. I think if this was in Taiwan, someone would speak up and say
“hey buddy you need to get off this train, its going out of service” .

The trials and tribulations of being a foreigner. I wouldn’t be surprised if the bus was turning around to get more HS students because the HS route was overflowing with students.

Some buses, with the same bus route number, have a sign put on the dashboard, and showing in the window that it’s designated for school students only.

Ms. Caroon obviously boarded one of these buses amongst a throng of students and wasn’t noticed by the driver until the students disembarked.

… and probably got on in the back and that’s why the driver was so pissed :laughing:

In the MRT if a train was going out of service (rather than repeating the route in the opposite direction) they would make an announcement, but a security person would also go into the train and kick everyone out, and the light would be dimmed to let you know that the train was going off service. No idea what they do in HK though.

I like to run onto those going-out-of-service trains screaming at the security fascist not to be a racist oppressor.

I don’t see how it has anything to do with safety or lack thereof, but I understand the frustration. When I first lived in Taiwan I got on a bus whose route I knew well, and I found that on some days it would travel a different route than usual. I didn’t know about the placards on the windows at the time.

I do think that if a bus has a route that varies even slightly from the standard, it should display a different number, or add a letter or something (e.g. 231 vs. 231B).

Do they still have the “0 East Right”, “0 South Left” etc. lines? What a mess of nomenclature. Different route, different number. Easy.

I caught a bus with a certain route number about 10 times, then one time I ended up at the bus terminus in a different place. Turned out the number was the same but there were two colors, red and green, with one ending the route in Xinjuang and the other in Sanxia.

I understand the frustration, but it was my own ignorance at fault, and don’t understand why someone would write a letter to the editor about it.

oh the fun of travel. annoying certainly but just learn by it.

This sounds like classic miscommunication. There are any number of valid reasons for the bus to have changed its route or been out of service. There was probably an announcement or flyer explaining the situation that she wasn’t aware of.

So they made her get off a bus…I can imagine a cranky driver dealing with a foreigner, poor girl! but hey it’s a city. Shtuff happens, especially for those who want to experience the far east as is!! :laughing: I mean what a autobiographical experience. She’ll narrate it a zillion times in her life…compare it with Gandhi being thrown off the train in South Africa. This is what we thrill seekers yearn for, a foreign experience in a foreign land!!! Besides, she was just told to get off a bus, in Taipei, not in the middle of the desert in Egypt. She’ll live through this trauma. :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

Yeah yeah before all of you get all righteous, I can understand the frustration of having to get down a bus. Done that with two kids - one in a sling and another 3 years old - it sucks, but it didn’t leave a scar.

UPDATE, the Taipei govt explains and apologizes in letter to editor:

[ LETTER ]2013-03-23
An apology for bad service Regarding the incident described by bus passenger Valerie Caroon (Letters, March 10, page 8) and reported in the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) on March 13, in which she said she was shooed off a route Red 36 bus
FULL STORY

taipeitimes.com/News/editori … 2003557757

An apology for bad service

Regarding the incident described by bus passenger Valerie Caroon (Letters, March 10, page 8) and reported in the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) on March 13, in which she said she was shooed off a route Red 36 bus by the driver while riding in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Tamsui District (淡水), the New Taipei City Government Transportation Department wishes to apologize to the passenger who received such inappropriate treatment.

As soon as we were informed about the incident, our department instructed Tamsui Motor Transport Ltd to handle it in an appropriate manner.

According to Tamsui Motor Transport, the driver and the foreign passenger in question were unable to speak each other’s languages, and the driver mistakenly thought that the passenger wanted to get off at Aletheia University, and so gestured with his hand.

However, a review of the on-board monitor camera footage shows that the driver did in fact shoo the member of the public off the bus.

Our department wishes to reiterate that public transport services should respect their passengers without any distinction as to race, status or gender.

As well as formally instructing the Tamsui Motor Transport company to submit a self-criticism and to discipline the staff member who acted negligently, we have asked them to improve their staff education and training.

The incident in question has been assessed and recorded as a failure to meet New Taipei City’s urban bus operation service standards.

Should a similar incident occur in the future, it will be handled directly in accordance with the Highway Act (公路法).

-------New Taipei City Government Transportation Department