Today coming home from work I had a different bus driver than normal on Route 3. Driving eastbound on 3rd Avenue, a few blocks out of downtown, an SUV from out-of-state pulled out in front of the bus, only to immediately turn into the next driveway. The bus driver, of course, had to slow down, but instead of simple braking a little until the path was clear, she laid on the horn. It was completely uncalled-for, overaggressive and unprofessional.
I have experienced other incidents while riding CR Transit where drivers overreact and honk their horn if a car pulls in front of them or cuts them off. This can be frustrating – just as it can be for any other driver – or cyclist or pedestrian. But driving a 35-40 foot long, multi-ton bus safely and responsibly demands some restraint and a simple assumption that other drivers on the road aren’t paying as much attention as they should be. Honking the horn out of frustration, rather than an actual imminent hazard can be dangerous and make buses look like “bullies” and can give people a negative connotation about transit and bus drivers in particular – especially those who are being honked at.
The vast majority of drivers at CR Transit are safe, courteous and professional, however, as a bus driver myself with CyRide, l do notice a different driver culture and a higher tolerance of aggressive behavior. As a passenger these incidents degrade the quality of service and my impression of the system.