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Where’s the Bus?

Something’s wrong here.

We went to the bus terminal to bid our brother off to Manila. We were conscious of time. We made sure that we got there with enough time for him to go to the ticket office, get the ticket printed and have enough time not to get late for the ride. So, we stood there with around 10 minutes before the agreed time of departure. The scheduled time came and the bus wasn’t there yet. Okay, some five to fifteen minutes late isn’t so bad. When we got there, a dense crowd was already standing. Of course, that’s natural. After all, it is a bus terminal and today is the traditionally peak season for travelers, with people going home or going some place for the holiday vacation. But after some time of testing the strength of my knees in standing in one place, I noticed that the people in the crowd seemed to stay where they are. Wait, isn’t this a terminal? Shouldn’t people be coming and going and not staying and standing? Shouldn’t buses be coming to unload and loading to go. From time to time, a bus would come, then it would park, and for the time that I stood there (which mind you, was quite a long time), very few, if any of those buses left. I didn’t get it.

For about an hour, some guy kept calling for passengers of Bus E. I take that to mean that Bus E has arrived and is ready to take passengers. But this guy would sporadically call for passengers of Bus E. I think he kept that for about an hour. Again, that would mean some passengers of Bus E had not come yet. While he kept at it, the people around me did not respond or even turned their heads when Bus E was being called. I’m sure that meant that they were not assigned on Bus E, and that when they bought tickets, they were not assigned on Bus E. I suppose that those are simple inferences. Bus E was waiting for passengers. Some of them have not come yet. Among that large crowd, none of them seems to be assigned to Bus E.

Where are Bus E’s passengers? More importantly, were are the buses of these people waiting in this dense crowd? Why is a bus driver waiting for passengers which are not around? Why are the buses of these waiting passengers way beyond schedule? There’s a mismatch, a disconnect. There is a large number of waiting passengers. There are parked buses. None of those buses are assigned to them. I was told that a few of the buses have been loaded with passengers already and presumably ready to go, but the driver could not be seen on his seat… for a long time. Where is he? Is he having a bad case of diarrhea or constipation, probably due to overeating during the holidays?

I may lack some inside information. But it seems that commuters were assigned with buses which could not be available at the set time. Bus drivers came to the terminal seemingly with their passengers not around. Why could not the bus companies have assigned the commuters to the buses which would certainly be available for loading at the set time?

Before we went to the terminal, we had an early dinner. In the middle of which, my brother received a call from someone in the bus company who asked for confirmation of his ride. Okay, I suppose that’s standard operating procedure. When my brother was having his ticket printed, another passenger who went to the office, had his ticket cancelled by the company because he failed to pick up the call for confirmation. What’s the remedy? That commuter who failed to respond to the call for confirmation, although he has already paid for his ticket, has to buy another ticket. Yes, he has to buy another ticket. My other brother called it… a scam. Then after buying another ticket, that commuter had to wait for three hours for his ride. Where do these bus companies get this audacity to rip off these patrons?

The whole nation’s air transportation has been in confusion as hundreds of flights were cancelled or diverted following technical issues that forced The Air Traffic Management Center at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to close the country’s airspace, following a power outage. Transportation confusion seems to be the trend in the opening of the new year.

By the way, my brother’s bus was scheduled to leave at 7 pm, but it did so at 10 pm.

“for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.” -Proverbs 2:8


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