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Stranger things happen on the Buses

Updated on January 27, 2016

We're back "On the Buses"

Hi There
Hi There | Source

An old much loved TV program

When I was a child there was a much loved comedy program on TV called "On the Buses" that we used to gather round the TV at night to watch, as I think about these hubs that I've written dealing with driving a bus I can't help but think I'm writing a script for that show! Some of the things that happen could be straight from the scriptwriters pen!

Forty year may have passed since the last episode but it's just like I'm writing the script as I sit and think here of some of the things that have happened.

On the Buses

"Nothing's as old as my Dad!"

I bet every five year old thinks his or her dad is the absolute most awesome dude in the universe right? Or they should. They often think they're the oldest thing in existence! (apart from Gamps that is!).

We've still got one of our oldest buses, we keep it as a reserve for when things go wrong and we just haven't got a spare, she's got no air conditioning but lots of windows and when moving is quite cool inside and she's a sprightly forty two years old!!

Last winter I had the joy that my bus had broken down and I had to take old '87 out (her fleet number). Actually she has no aircon but the heater is wonderful!

Some of the kids I was picking up were bing a bit grumpy with their Mums at the time so one kid that was being grouchy I just turned and said "Just think, a special Vintage trip just for you!" The kid's eyes lit up at the thought he was getting a special bus just for him "This bus is a vintage one, in fact it's so old it's older than your Dad!!" Mum just about fell over laughing but the kid felt really special and the rest of the trip the grouch stopped!

Olden but Golden

Brings back memories!. Great in winter, summer, well can still be fun!
Brings back memories!. Great in winter, summer, well can still be fun! | Source

Classic moments

Passengers aren't the only thing that makes this job special, (though they are a major part of it) another thing is the vehicles themselves, I don't care what you say vehicles may be a hunk of metal and a means of getting from A to B for most of you but for me they each have the little things that happen that makes it feel as if they're talking to me.

A favorite with the older buses was because of their age things used to wear down that bit quicker, they needed that little more TLC like servicing and such. They'd be great for the first week after the service but after about a week you start to get misfiring, not really noticing it until you get to a clear stretch of road and put the accelerator down, then it's like a machine gun going off!

Most countries around the world have their version of SWAT teams for the Police, we don't often see them in NZ but our boys are called the "Armed Offenders Squad" or AOS for short. One time I remember going down the street with the bus backfiring so I called up Ops to report the situation, here's how the conversation went.


"Yeah, go ahead"

"I think we need to get this Bus in for a service!"

"We can't yet, she's not due for one"

"But I think we need to do it NOW!"

"Why? What's broken"


"Then why?"

"She just backfired and the AOS just surrounded me!!!" Needless to say within half an hour she was off the road!


Three years driving buses with around sixty hours a week means you've done quite a few things with them but for me some of the classic moments have been the breakdowns. One classic was working one of the routes when I got to my terminus I noticed the power steering had packed up. I've driven trucks without power steering before so I called Ops and told them the situation. I told them I'd be able to nurse the bus back to the depo where we can swap her out.

Setting off everything was going well until I looked down at my air pressure guages half way home and something haf fractured the air pipes and she was dumping all the air in the system.

Heavy vehicles all have air operated brakes, and those brakes have a safety feature in all of them that once the air pressure drops below a certain level a bolt locks the brakes on and won't release until the air pressure gets back above the required minimum, my brakes were about to lock on so I pulled over and told them I wasn't moving.

They sent me a replacement and a towtruck came to take the other bus away. Everything was fine and dandy I thought until the supervisor told me to ask the other supervisor (who'd brought my repalcement bus out) what had happened next.

Fearing I was in trouble I asked and he started laughing, it took a while for him to stop but then he told me that just as the tow truck haf connected to the bus a little old lady had come running down the street "Can I catch this bus now?" she tried to open the door.

"No Lady, sorry"

"But I need to get to town!"

"Wait for the next bus, it'll be here in a few minutes"

"I'm not waiting for another bus, I'll take this one"

"No you won't" he replied but she wasn't done.

"WHY NOT?" she was pretty indignant


What more can you say!

Onwards and upwards

What adventures await this year?
What adventures await this year? | Source

What Dad used to say.

"We don't have much money, but we do see life"

For the future

Nothing ever stands still for long, it's the same in our industry and the same for our company. We're in the middle of Summer now and the kids are out of school, most folks have taken the opportunity that the summer break gives to take off for a few weeks and have a holiday, but that's coming to an end and in about two or three weeks everything will be back to what was normal.

For us that's meant that a fewnew routes have been introduced and there's going to be new faces on the buses, it also means a lot more things that can be fun will be out there waiting for me to 'discover' after all, as my Dad used to say

"Variety is the spice of life"

Until next time.



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    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Say Yes

      Pretty interesting and scary stories for a kid in school!

      I've had one incident with a firearm here in NZ. Those things do happen but after the last one I put the fear of the Good Lord into the guy and roasted the local city councils security people alive (metaphorically speaking) but that was nothing compared to the roasting the council got from my Boss!

      I've had times when the kids were playing around like you mention but they soon learned the rules for an urban bus are very different from a school bus!

      I've never had to throw people off the bus, but I do know of drivers who were told to "look the other way" while a passenger dealt with someone causing trouble!

      Having said that the job is a lot of fun and you meet some real neat people.

      The other day I met a guy who was on the 1955 expedition to the South Pole with Sir Edmund Hillary! (the stories he told!)



    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 

      2 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      I have a number of bus stories of my own!

      Once I was riding to school in Oakland, CA, and a man came on raving continually about how he could handle his life anyway he wanted. When he stated he was going to Merritt College (10 miles away), everyone on the bus groaned. The bus drove to Highland Hospital (for indigent people and stayed there until the police came to escort the man off. At least he went peacefully.

      Another time, some thug types started smoking cigarettes in the back. The bus driver, a female, told them to stop. When they didn't, she stopped the bus and got off. That was scary! Fortunately, they didn't attack her.

      My brother has even scarier stories. Once a woman was driving the bus, and these guys kept ringing the bell at every stop. When she stopped, they didn't get off. So finally she didn't stop, and they grabbed her and dragged her off the bus. Fortunately, cops were there and they rescued her.

      My brother told me yet another story about some guys in the back who were admiring a gun. When he got off in front, he informed the male driver, who nervously said he already knew.

      This was all in the 1970s. I understand today, anyone who rides the Oakland bus takes their lives into their hands.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      I take it that might take a while :-)

      Actually just putting together some stuff about what you might see if you come to NZ! (apart from the regular 'tourist stuff' which is awesome anyway!)

      Thanks for the visit


    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Great stories! As soon as I get to NZ, I shall seek out your bus.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Glad you enjoyed it

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Lots of fun here, Lawrence. Enjoyed it much!

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Thanks for the visit. Its nice to write a lighthearted hub occasionally.


    • emge profile image


      2 years ago from Abu Dhabi

      Very interesting hub. Voted up

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      She's forty two years old! The company imported her 'second hand' from Australia twenty five years ago!

      Legally in NZ you can only keep urban buses for 25 years then you can use them for school buses. The job can be a lot of fun and you meet all kinds of folks on the bus, the other day I met someone who was with Hillary on his 1955 trip to the South Pole!

      Glad you enjoyed the laughs


    • Paladin_ profile image


      2 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Thanks for some good laughs, Lawrence! I can't believe the green bus pictured in this hub is your "old" bus! It still looks a lot better than a lot of the "new" busses I've seen on the road here in the United States.

      You guys must have a lot higher standard than we do!! :-D

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      I put the link so you can enjoy at least one episode! Then again some of the jojes would be Brotish humor. Glad you enjoyed it


    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Driving a bus, or doing anything that exposes one to interacting with the public really gives you a diagonal slice of life, doesn't it? Unfortunately the series that you refer to was not available in the United States. I'm sure it was entertaining. Thanks for the chuckle today.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Driving them is a great way to observe our best writing subjects, people. Thanks for the visit. Glad you enjoyed it.


    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't think there is any doubt that driving a bus would be interesting. Having said that, I couldn't do it. I have nothing but respect for you. :) You are a stronger man than I am.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      I loved them too. I was a bit dubious at putting that link in as they're not very 'PC' but in the end I couldn't resist and it really does feel like a script for the show at times

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      It's a very interesting and fun job.


    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I love these "On the Buses" hubs Lawrence. I also used to love the show starring Reg Varney. It was a laugh a minute and these hubs do remind me of the show. The supervisor guy with the Hitler moustache only died recently. That was hilarious about the old lady trying to catch the bus being towed. Sounds like a great job.

    • word55 profile image

      Al Wordlaw 

      2 years ago from Chicago

      Very interesting! Da bus!

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Just keep riding bro, just keep riding! Glad you enjoyed it.


    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Delgihtful. I shall never ride a bus the same again.


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