The buses shuttle between two tram temporary connecting points. This is because of the construction of an underground train station. The road restrictions have caused us massive inconvenience, but we manage. We may well be dead by the time the project is completed and we might not get any benefit. I try to think of it as planting a slow growing but wonderful tree. We are doing for the future, for the kiddies. Yes Cathy, it always on my mind. Do it for the kiddies.
The normal buses that travel past The Highrise are run by Transdev. That company was clearly not invited to service for bustitution as it has had so many of its buses put off the road because of maintenance/roadworthy/safety issues. Bad Transdev. Instead bustitution has been supplied by Ventura Buses. I caught my first Ventura bus before I was ten years old. My grandmother took us on the bus to Brighton Cemetery where she put flowers on her parents' grave. It seems to be a good company that looks after its workers. I think I read that it began in 1924.
So, it has been school holidays and there seemed to be enough normal Ventura buses but schools went back today. How can Ventura run all these extra tram replacement services? Well, it doesn't seem to lack in staff, but it does with buses, hence all these really old buses are back in service as tram replacement. We have free vintage bus trips past The Highrise. After a little study, many seem to buses built in the late 1990s and they would have been the last buses to go into service without air conditioning. I saw one or two last week. This week in the morning peak I reckon seven were in service. Late 90s and no air con? Extraordinary given that in the 80s our then 377 bus had air con. But what is really so unreal, is that these buses, admittedly without air con, are no more noisy and rough than the current Transdev buses. In fact I would say better from a passenger perspective. Do you get this? A one year old bus is not more comfortable for passengers than a 20 year old bus.
Here are a few photos I snapped of the old buses without air con, but still quite serviceable.
Hi, do you mind if I take a photo of your really old bus dashboard? My god, was the bus driver so good looking.
"Hi, do you mind if I take a photo of your really old dashboard?" "No worries mate. I really don't know how old this bus is." "It is pretty old but you drove it really well." I suck bigtime of whatever when I have to.