Trouble over rule interpretation in Bonn Driver does not let senior citizens off before the bus stop
Bad Godesberg · A bus driver interpreted the rules regarding exiting very strictly, causing a retired couple to miss their train. The SWB refer to the ban on getting on and off the bus outside the bus stops, but also explain: The driver could have decided differently.
An elderly couple missed their train because a bus driver on line 614 interpreted the rules regarding getting off the bus very strictly: This scenario recently occurred near Mehlem station.
Only a few metres from the bus stop, the bus is said to have been stuck in a tailback. The driver did not comply with the couple's request to open the door. As a result, the couple had to wait out further minutes in the bus and finally had to see the Ahrtalbahn, which they were aiming for, pull away from the platform before they could reach it. Another passenger accused the driver of petty behaviour. The Stadtwerke Bonn (SWB), the operator of the bus line, points out that the staff had some room for manoeuvre, but that the driver had "interpreted the instructions very precisely".
An observer described the situation to the GA like this: Due to a closed railway barrier and a backlog of various vehicles in front of it, the bus had to wait "two to three metres" in front of the Mehlem Bahnhof stop. After a few minutes, an elderly man with walking difficulties asked the bus driver to please let him and his wife get off. It was only a few metres to the actual bus stop. The bus driver replied: "You have answered the question yourself.“
Stayed on the bus for about ten minutes
The driver allegedly ignored the partner's subsequent request to get off the bus. The observer then went to him and his request was also refused. All in all, the scenario is said to have lasted about ten minutes before the bus could cover the few metres to the official stopping point.
The eyewitness showed no understanding for this: For him, there was no recognisable safety aspect that made a difference between getting off at the designated stop and an identical location two to three metres earlier.
On request, the Stadtwerke refers to the fact that boarding and stepping off the bus outside the explicit stop areas is not permitted. "However, exceptions can be permitted by the drivers," explains spokeswoman Clarissa Pütz. "In doing so, it is essential that the staff weigh up whether it is safe for all passengers and whether the current traffic situation allows it." In this particular case, the driver seems to have interpreted the guidelines very precisely. This will also be communicated to the informant himself, as he has also contacted SWB.
Discussion with drivers after complaints is common
As a matter of principle, after such incidents and complaints, personal talks are sought with the drivers involved, says the spokeswoman. The exchange of information and the corresponding processing should help to avoid similar situations. The drivers are regularly trained in dealing with conflicts and in communicating with passengers. It is unclear whether the elderly couple involved in this case will be aware of the process. The informant has no contact with them.
(Original text: Alexander Barth; Translation: Mareike Graepel)