First off, the papers likes to print all the stories about people complaining about their experiences, and it makes it look like all HRM employees are a bunch of incompetents. They forget that for every one person that had a bad experience, there are likely 10-20 who have had a good experience on a bus, or at worse a neutral one. The bus picks people up, then drops them off at their destination. Are there times when bus drivers do things wrong? Sure! But have any of you ever gone to McDonalds and encountered a PO'ed person behind the counter? What about a rude cab driver? Every profession under the sun has a few times when they f up, and if you just focus on those times, then it's easy to believe that every time is going to be like that. It's easy to say, "All Transit drivers are racist, nutbar people who shouldn't be doing their job!" based on the constant bad press they're getting. But I've been riding buses in this city for years, and there has been, perhaps, 2 times in the last 5 years that I've had a bad experience. I've missed buses because they were early, I've been standing at the stop and the bus drove right by me, and the bus has broken down and I've been late. It happens and I expect it on occasion. Suck it up, princesses!
Secondly, this period of bad press has resulted in a large number of people I've seen on the bus trying to cash in on it. Particularly kids, they will come on the bus and act like complete jackasses, and when the driver complains, they come back with, "Those papers are right about you! You're all a bunch of racist assholes!"
Thirdly, while it's not excuse at all, please consider that driving a city bus is one of the most stressful jobs in the city. They put up with so much shit from passengers, have to listen to kids swear, babies scream and cry, and then be yelled at because they were 5 minutes late or they don't let people on after they've left the stop. They get no scheduled breaks, having to take them between stops. They sometimes don't hardly get 5 minutes to run to the bathroom. And, yeah, they get paid $20 an hour, but at what cost?
Fourthly, the seal incident was nuts and I agree that the driver should be reprimanded, and I agree there have been a few incidences of un PC behavior, bad driving and outright racism. But those are the minority. We're lucky this city even HAS a transit system, so consider that the next time you feel the need to bitch about it!
---Ticked off about Transit haters