Everyday UX – A Bad Experience at The Bus Stop

San Francisco has a much better public transportation system than cities and towns around it, but it still needs to better.

I decided to take a bus home today. The bus I took belonged to the Golden Gate Transit system, which ran buses and ferries across the bay and bridges.

I went to its stop and waited. Actually, I can’t tell it was a stop until I saw a tiny sign hung in the wall, saying things about bus stop id and phone call number, etc. There was no list of buses and thus I can’t tell which buses stops at this place.

A guy came by. I asked him if the bus I was looking for stopped at this place. Yes, he said, and remember to wave at the bus when it’s coming, because some bus drivers may not stop if no one seemed to have the desire to get on.

Not long after that, a bus showing “NOT IN SERVICE” in its electronic display came by and had no intention to stop. But it hit a right light and had to wait. A few people ran forward to catch it and asked the driver which bus it was, and it turned out to be a Route 4. It showed “NOT IN SERVICE” because somehow the driver forgot to change the displayed message and it didn’t want to stop because initially no one seemed to want to board.

This was unbelievably bad experience. I was shocked — how can people work around this entire poor process just like that? A new comer needs to find a bus stop that doesn’t look like a bus stop. She may actually miss the bus if she doesn’t wave to a coming one.

I submitted a comment for this in the Golden Gate Transit site, and maybe they’ll think out some good ideas to improve this.

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