Why We Should Still Have Bus Conductors

In the age of the driver-only bus, younger people might have never travelled on a bus that had a conductor. When they were taken away in London, I missed them a lot. They could direct you to the right stop for your needs, manage unruly passengers, and took great pride in running their bus on a familiar route.

And they worked through both wars. These are from WW1.

They were smart and efficient.

They helped passengers onto the bus.

It was also an equal-opportunities job, and very popular with women.


58 thoughts on “Why We Should Still Have Bus Conductors

  1. Lovely photos. I remember the bus conductors from my stays in London and Manchester in my youth. I felt safe driving around in places on the buses. On the second floor, you were allowed to smoke

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I seldom go out and ride on a bus, we have jeepneys for public transport and the ever reliable aircon vans that ply the route going to our area. Fare is expensive though. Jovy takes the car every day to the office while Josef takes a ride with his officemate every day and pay P1,500 monthly. The latter and his wife pass by every morning and pick him up.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Here in the American West, we have hundreds of thousands of cattle guards. The joke is that the guards cost the federal government way too much money, and that the secretary of the interior should fire at least half of them for budgetary reasons. Cattle guards are actually steel rails, usually set in a road, that, for their own safety, keep cattle from crossing over. The point of the joke is that the folks in Washington are so far removed from the West that they are clueless as to what a “cattle guard” is. (This comment has nothing to do with bus conductors, except that I’d never heard of them. And, without your post, I’m not sure that I would have correctly guessed what the job entailed if someone had mentioned it to me.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Couldn’t agree more Pete. In July 2016 the newly elected (labour) mayor for London sacked the conductors on the six routes that earlier recreated the role of conductor as part of the previous (Tory) mayors roll out of the ‘new route master’ fleet aka the BorisBus.
    He saved £10m by cutting these jobs that were initially created as part of an anti social behaviour reduction project that placed a ‘capable guardian’ on each bus on some of the worst routes in London. I suspect the money saved was then lost by allowing passengers to travel without paying, but they’ll never provide relevant data on that for obvious reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember that around 25% of ‘Bendy Bus’ passenger on the 29 route never even tried to pay. One reason why they got rid of them, when I was still using that bus to commute to work. Getting rid of conductors made the buses much less safe to travel in, and there was nobody to help the old people either. Installing CCTV is pointless, as it only provides evidence after the crime is committed.
      Cheers mate, Pete.


  4. How wonderful! I don’t recall having conductors on our buses, but I do remember them being on trains. Unfortunately, all forms of assistance and customer service here, seem to be evaporating, forcing us to use ‘self-service’ for everything, even eliminating cashiers for buying groceries.


    1. We are going down that same route here, Susanne. First the bus conductors, then self-service checkouts, and the next will be the train conductors and guards.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  5. I don’t think we ever has them on buses but we did have them on streetcars. I agree, Pete, bring them back.
    At first glance at the photo of the conductor helping the elderly lady, I thought it was an Alfred Hitchcock cameo.

    Liked by 1 person

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