14 March 2014

The Rude BVG

The other day, I was riding the bus to get to work, and perhaps I encountered the most obnoxious and rude bus driver ever. Based on previous interactions with my German friends, they all agree that the bus drivers of the BVG (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe: the public transport company in Berlin) rank as one of the rudest people in Berlin, if not in the planet.

So what happened? Well, personally, I wasn't victimized of this person's rudeness. I boarded the M29 from Wittenbergplatz, and flashed my monthly pass. Contrary to most drivers, this one actually stared at me (or rather, at my monthly pass) and did check that it was valid. Now, normally this is not a big deal, as they do have the obligation to check. But given what happens later on, it sort of made me think twice. Anyway, most drivers just glance at your ticket (so, if you have something to flash, that normally suffices, not that I am advocating ticketless ridership), and some even don't look your way when you board.

Anyway, moving on with the story. When the bus reached Anhalter Bahnhof, something interesting happened. This is a popular stop, as it connects with the S-Bahn and therefore there are plenty of people that would board the bus here. Normally, all three doors would open, and people would just board from every door, making boarding quicker. But no, he only opened the first door, and checked everyone. In fact, he even delayed opening the middle and final doors, even though someone wanted to get out! He said that he would eventually open it, but he did, only after everyone who wanted to get in got in, from the front door. This made the bus rather crowded, unnecessarily.

But that is not it. There was a guy with a stroller who wanted to board. So he boarded when the second door eventually opened. Normally, people with strollers don't get their tickets checked. But this one was different. The driver shouted at the guy to show him his ticket, so the poor guy with the stroller had to squeeze all the way to the front to show the driver his ticket.

You know, I normally would not be annoyed at this, after all, the driver was just trying to enforce the rules. However, by enforcing the rules, he is violating another set of conventions, and that is, the time tables. Because of his anal behavior when it comes to driving, he made the bus late.

Anyway, when my stop arrived, I got off. And the adventures didn't end there. As I was walking forward, I heard someone honking. Several times. It turned out that it was the bus, wanting the car in front of him to move, and so I wondered, did he really need that much space to turn and get back into the road? Sure enough, the driver waited until the car moved, again, making the bus more late than ever.

Someone definitely didn't wake up right that Monday.


  1. Public transportation brings the best... and the worst in people. In Ottawa, some drivers are super friendly while other are very rude. There is no happy medium!

    1. Zhu,

      So true. Sometimes, I feel like these drivers didn't get a oood night's sleep the night before and therefore they are so rude to the people commuting.