I' m a 23yr old dude and I work for a bus transit company in the east of Sweden, not far from Stockholm. Here in Sweden a lot of the bus drivers are in their 40-50s and up. We have 300 drivers where I work and I'm the second youngest.

I absolutely LOVE this job. I love serving people and making them smile. :)

So, AMA!

PROOF: http://goo.gl/65n3N2 Compare it to: http://instagram.com/p/m0cKrwonBI/

edit: Thank you so much for all your question! I was overwhelmed by the interest you showed me. Thank you and goodbye!

Comments: 289 • Responses: 68  • Date: 

ALIEN-OR-SUTIN41 karma

What would you do if you saw a crying girl by the side of the road?

moenia23 karma

Yeah I saw that post. That is a true hero. You never know how you would react in those kinds of situations; it's hard to predict, but I sincerely wish I would do the same. I try to be a good samaritan wherever I am, whatever I do. I hope I can live up to that in a real situation.

necrotica32 karma

Hej!

I visited Sweden almost 15 years ago and absolutely loved the bus system there. One of the things I found so interesting compared to the US buses here (at least in my area) is how EVERY bus stop has a "park" area for the bus to go into so that traffic that was behind the bus doesn't have to stop or try to go around.

I know it sounds silly, but that's just so logical and I don't know why US buses never did that (probably wasn't planned around the concept of mass transit).

Keep up the good work! Hej då!

moenia26 karma

Hejsan svejsan!

Wow, I always thought that was the general idea of a bus stop! Interesting. It's true that most of the bus stops here has like it's own "parking slot", but it's not everywhere.

Ha det gött!

Abornleader15 karma

Do Swedish bus drivers get drug tested?

moenia20 karma

Yes they do, at least where I work. I was tested when I first got here, but they also have random drug tests where you get called in with a 24h notice.

gxhxoxsxtxfxm14 karma

There is this big difference between bus drivers in Sweden and the ones in somewhere like France and Italy. The first times I used buses in Stockholm I was wondering what makes these ladies and gentlemen so nice and patient with the passengers? They greet almost every passenger, stop the bus for someone who's running and answer questions very gently. Is it something you've been taught during your driving courses or does it go with the Swedish culture of being nice.

moenia12 karma

I'm glad you have such a good impression of us! I'm almost a little surprised, but I guess when you have nothing else to compare it to it's easy to see only the bad apples. Yeah, we do have a lot of customer relations training, and our PTA takes complaints from upset customers very seriously. If a driver behaves like an ass repeatedly he/she will be fired.

However, what you said about Swedish culture isn't too far off. We have a lot of social codes of conduct in place to be nice. We want people to feel good about themselves and keep each other out of awkward situations. Swedes, in my experience, are generally afraid of conflict and really don't want to offend anyone. I believe this is a part of the explanation too.

DorianGainsboro8 karma

This is the usual way I buy a pack of smokes (replacing "tack" with "please" and "thank you")


Me: Hi, one pack of brand please.

Shop: Will there be anything else?

Me: No, thank you.

Shop: That will be #kr, please.

Me: Yes, thank you. Have a nice day.

Shop: Thank you, have a nice day.

Me: Thanks, you too!


Everybody knows that we're being overly nice, but we get to giggle a bit about how nice we all are.

Note: I'm from Gothenburg and not Stockholm where things are a bit more harsh.

moenia12 karma

Haha it's funny 'cause it's true. It's not unusual to respond with "thank you" when somebody thanks you:

customer stamping his ticket

Me: Thank you.

Customer: Thank you.

missglitchy13 karma

How did you get hired to be a bus driver? Did you require a special license or test?

moenia33 karma

The hiring process is usually like any other. You send in your CV, have an interview and a test drive. Some employers require you to take a basic test in Swedish (this profession is popular among immigrants). But for me on the other hand, I was hired before I even finished my driving test. My boss called one of my teachers and asked if he had anyone who could start working in a month. They needed new drivers quickly, so I actually started the internal training a week before I even had my license!

To drive a bus you need a special license, yes. Here it's called a D license. First of all you have to have the B license (the reqular driver's license), which enables you to train for the D license. But that isn't quite enough. Once you have that you're allowed to legally drive a bus, but you can't have any passengers.

For that you need the YKB (Yrkeskompetensbevis) - a certificate of professional competence which closely resembles the CPC in the UK. To get it you need 280 hours of additional training between the age of 18-20, and 140 hours if you're 21+.

MagnusRune11 karma

i was in Sweden-Stockholm 8 years ago on a foreign exchange work experience program, when it was really snowy. the Swedish people i was staying with said it worse snow they had seen for years. yet the bus was on time every morning to get me to work. as i had to get the bus from the house i was staying at to a train station, to get the t-centrala change then head on to work.

can i just say you guys were great drivers, arriving on time in 3ft of snow durring a blizzard. here in london if its a little rainy, or windy, or too sunny or well... any day of the year our buses are late.

moenia3 karma

Wow, great, thanks! I'm glad you liked it! The timetable must've been well-adjusted in that case, because the snow can really mess things up; especially in the countryside.

od3tzki-11 karma

How much you make per month?

moenia9 karma

I'm payed about $20/hour. Usually it lands me a good $2,5-3K (18-21K SEK) a month. A full time pay can go up to about $5K/month. For me it's not about the pay though. :)

od3tzki-4 karma

Twice what I make :P Thanks for you answer though

corkentellis8 karma

I bet he does have twice your living costs though. One gallon of gas is ~9 USD in Sweden, as an example.

moenia9 karma

Yeah, and our income tax is 30%.

hautch10 karma

What do you do when you have to go to the bathroom?

moenia11 karma

I usually try to go to the toilet... lol

<non-asshole answer> It depends. On some of the routes we have either portable toilets ('bajamaja' in Swedish) at the terminus, the permission to use a nearby store's toilet, if we have time we can go when we come back to the bus terminal and sometimes we just have to hold it in. Generally you try to have an empty bladder before going out to avoid any "situations". </non-asshole answer>

Frankelito10 karma

Is it difficult to drive in a roundabout with a bus? When i'm in a bus it looks extremely tight and possibly dangerous.

moenia40 karma

Well, first I was afraid, I was petrified, kept thinking I could never drive around those roundabouts. But then I spent so many nights thinking how to do it right, and I grew strong and I learned how to get around. :)

Actually it's easier than you'd think. You just take it slow (usually no faster than 15-20 km/h (10-12 mph) and keep your right side clear if your driving on the left side of a two lane roundabout. Although there are some steering wheel nightmares. This is the worst one in Linköping. To get through with an 18 m (60 ft) articulated bus without touching the edges you have to turn the steering wheel like MAD. First time in there I thought it'd be impossible, but it's actually doable!

Masterzior12 karma

I read this to the tune of i will survive, it was wierd.

Ha en trevlig dag kära swedditor

moenia7 karma

Tack detsamma! :)

bymet1 karma

I KNOW THIS ONE! I have only seen a busdriver make it through that ONCE in two years. I was so excited I called my friend and yelled "OMG HE MADE IT!!! HEEE MAAADE IT!". Then people looked at me like I was crazy, but it was totally worth it. Great experience!

moenia1 karma

Wow really? This particular roundabout? I guess a lot of my colleagues just drives right over it.

kigurai10 karma

Since I live in the city you drive in, and go by bus regularly, I of course have some questions:

How annoyed do you get with the people that plan the routes? It seems like some routes are always delayed (bus 2 going from the University towards Resecentrum comes to mind) during rush hour. I can't understand why there are not extra buses during this time or the route time is extended.

I also always laugh at the fact that almost all buses leave at the same time from Resecentrum (matching the train I guess). Even though a lot of them go pretty much the same route (e.g. 3 and 13). Is this something that you and your bus driver friends notice as well?

Considering all the negativity I just want to say that most of the bus drivers I go with are usually very happy people. Stay safe on the roads :)

moenia15 karma

Hey, thanks for tuning in!

Routes

Oh, don't even get me started about the timetables. It's true about line 2, but take 13 for example: The route goes from Tallboda - bus terminal - Malmslätt. Some nights I don't pick up a single passenger going from Tallboda to the terminal, and I still come in 1,5 min late! This is clearly a scheduling error.

First of all, timetable scheduling is extremely complicated. First you have to see what the needs are; where do people wanna go, when and how often? Secondly you have to sync it with all the contractors and their employee's schedules and their buses maintenance intervals and whatnot. I really admire those who have the patience and ability to put it all together.

Although there are some routes that have been erroneous for a long time. Line 13 is one of those. I believe it has to do with the fact that to make it better you need an additional bus on that route = expensive. So they prefer a tight, impossible-to-catch-up-timetable instead.

Departure time

Yeah, well you notice it, but it's not something we talk about really. It can cause some problems when 2-3 buses have to stop at the same bus stop (Kungsgatan for example). Other than that I think it's a pretty cool feeling actually to depart all at once (oh yeah, that's my Youtube channel). It makes you feel like a part of something big...

Don't be afraid to chit chat if you ride with me someday! :)

pizzamannen3 karma

ye i also noticed this especialy from 12 lambohov route, after school around 3-5 all the busses are just full i shit u not even once i got on the bus i had to stand next to the door because the bus was so full of ppl. Imo it would be better if they would schedule more busses during that time than have busses many busses go by night since barely anybody uses them.

moenia2 karma

Tell me about it. There's this duty when you change driver at the bus terminal at route 12 about 4pm, and because of the driver's change you depart a couple min late. Those minutes just keep building and you have no more than 1-2 min time regulation at either end of the route, so you just have to keep driving for like two hours before you have time to even get your ass off the seat for a second. Phew!

svenne2 karma

How completely random, I just saw this AMA (Swede here) and out of all the cities in Sweden you drive one of the buses in my city :D go Linköping

I really do like the bus drivers we have, both in companies like Östgötatrafiken and rental-buses. After a class trip last year with my uni program we were coming home late with the rental bus to uni, and one guy was living like 10 minutes outside of Linköping, but the bus driver offered to drive him there after he dropped us off at uni.

moenia1 karma

That's great! Feel free to come up and talk if you spot me. :)

mjomark1 karma

Nice video. Was not aware of the fact that Östgötatrafiken operates double decker buses. On special routes with more passengers?

moenia1 karma

Östgötatrafiken doesn't operate any buses; the contractors do. It's StångåBuss, Bliva and Ringarums busstrafik who's operating the double deckers. They traffic the express routes to and from Norrköping, Åtvidaberg, Kisa and so on.

rantapanda9 karma

Do you play bus driver simulator on your day off?

moenia3 karma

I did actually! Not so much anymore, but while in training I played Bus Driver quite a bit. I wish I had Windows to play OMSI though. That shit is awesome, far more realistic than Bus Driver!

_participation8 karma

What are your working hours like?

moenia17 karma

Well, you have to be flexible, that's for sure! There are long days and short days, long breaks and short breaks, real early mornings and hard work til the wee hours... If you're payed by the hour you need to be prepared to work whenever if you wanna get a full-time pay.

You could start working at 5 am, have your 40 min/1h lunch break somewhere between 9-10 am and drive home at 3 pm. Or why not get your bus driver shoes on at 6pm, have a 45 min break at 8:30pm, another one at midnight and take those shoes off 4am the next morning?

There's also 3-4h reinforcement shifts in the morning or afternoon to help out during rush hour.

Menu_Eco8 karma

Have you ever overrun a moose?

moenia26 karma

Not with a bus, no, but I've been close twice with my own car. They're all over the place.

EyebrowScar6 karma

Is it true that Swedish people don't talk to each other in the bus? Or just not to strangers? Ever had any amusing stories with unaware tourists about that?

Snazzy sunglasses by the way!

moenia19 karma

Hey, thanks for the compliment and the question!

If you're sitting with your friends of course you could talk to each other, but with strangers? Big no no. Although, there are people out there that would like it if a non-creepy stranger started talking to them, but are too afraid to take the first step. The most talkative is, besides the drunks, by far the elderly and I get the feeling people actually think that's nice. At least I appreciate it!

However, make your phone calls when you get off the bus, because there's not much Swedish people hate more than loud phone calls on the bus. And personally I would appreciate it if you didn't sit right up in front when talking on the phone.

Ok, so you talk to a stranger on the bus, or maybe even answer a call. Fine, that's not the worst thing that could happen on a Swedish bus. The absolute WORST thing that you could EVER do is to sit right next to a stranger if there's free two-seats available. They wouldn't say anything (of course, we're conflict-fobic Swedes remember?) but they would fill up with confusion, BOIL with annoyance inside and dive even deeper down into the screen in their hand to avoid exposing all these emotions. And if you have to sit next to someone, be sure to sit as far out on your seat as possible and angle your body away from that person to avoid ANY TYPE OF CONTACT WHATSOEVER.

Ok, I'm exaggerating a little bit, but that's the general idea. :)

Suomiauto6 karma

Hur ofta brukar det komma vilda djur in i bussen?

moenia1 karma

You mean like this? Not often enough.

xinjies6 karma

How does Ikea's meatballs compare to the best you had eaten? Pls rate 100% as the best you had eaten

moenia3 karma

Uhm... 75%. While they are good, the Mamma Scan's meatballs are better, and better yet - home made. That is teh shiznit.

AgeOfWomen5 karma

If a lot of your collegues are 40-50s and up, what do you talk about when you have a get together?

moenia4 karma

One of the best things with this job is the fact that it brings all sorts of people together, because we have this one thing in common. So there's a lot of work talk; we discuss customers we've had, buses we've driven, complain about the timetables, the long hours, the too short or too long lunch breaks and so on...

However, with about 300 drivers, you find some that share your interests and hobbies who you can talk in a non-worky way. :)

Olive_Tree_Lady5 karma

Have you ever encountered rude or drunk or generally troublesome passengers? If so, how did you handle the situation?

moenia12 karma

Fortunately I haven't had any complete assholes yet. The worst I've had so far is customers pissed off at me for running late. In those cases you just have to take a deep breath and move on. I usually say I'm sorry and sometimes I explain why I'm running late so they understand that it's beyond my control (but ofc it's my fault for real sometimes). We talk about letting the uniform absorb the negative comments. They're not angry with you personally but with you as a representative for the PTA (Östgötatrafiken) and the subcontractor I work for (Veolia Transport).

I've had a couple of drunks though. Usually they take the form of loud and happy people. I'm ok with that. One time I came to the end of my route where I would take the bus out of service and drive back to the depot. When walking through the bus I see this 25-30yr old dude sleeping like a baby in the back. He was hard to wake, but I finally got through to him and asked where he was going. I gave him a ride as far as he wanted and drove off. He was very greatful. He said that he've had to walk all the way from the terminus before, despite the fact that his stop was along the way back to the depot. That's not cool.

Digital_Rocket5 karma

what's your worst thing that have happened to you on work?

moenia5 karma

oh wow, that's a tough one. Maybe this one time, during route practice, when I scratched a parked car. We were told that if anything happened during training we'd be fired. I almost shit my pants, convinced I was gonna be kicked out. I wrote an accident report but nothing happened. Now I realize they probably said it so that we would be careful. Of course, if I had completely totalled the car or bus, I would definitely get fired.

chahlie4 karma

Have you ever kicked anyone off the bus? I'm American, ride the bus fairly often, and I've seen this several times. Always hilarious.

moenia3 karma

I try not to. When people get kicked out it's mostly about the tickets and I refuse to double as a policing ticket inspector. Of course people should pay the fair, but to pick a fight about it? No thank you. I usually say that they can hop on but at their own risk. If an inspector catch you they'll rip a $182/1200 SEK hole in your wallet ($91/600 SEK if your under 26).

In Linköping where I work people are extremely well-mannered. They rarely make a fuss and it's not often I spot someone cheating. When I do I call traffic control to have them send the inspectors to my route - if they're around, that is.

shamanofshexy4 karma

is this what you would love to do for the rest of your life

or

just a for the time being thing?

moenia15 karma

I sincerely feel that this is what I'm supposed to do for the rest of my life. I've worked in a warehouse and as a youth leader in church, but this is really where I'm supposed to be. Sometimes when I'm driving around I just start smiling when I realize that I actually work as a bus driver. It makes me truly happy. Not only is it supercool to maneuver 18m (60ft) articulated buses in city traffic, but to interact with all these people known as my customers, and to be of service is so satisfying.

To see someone burst into a grateful, beautiful smile and thank you for whatever you did, you know it... it's just the best thing in the world.

shamanofshexy2 karma

Happy for you that you've found your calling!

moenia2 karma

Thank you so much. :)

spock_block1 karma

If you're that into buses, ever considered stepping up to the ultimate bus, a train?

moenia1 karma

I thought about it, but I think I would miss the customer interaction. Trains would be incredible to drive, but I think I'm too social to enjoy it in the long run.

SwedishTiger3 karma

Are you or are you not a man in a cheerful mood? I've been told that you are.

moenia1 karma

I try to be! It makes people happy and in turn makes me happy too; a win-win situation. :)

driesje013 karma

How do you feel about random people coming to talk to you while driving? Is it distracting or a nice change?

moenia4 karma

I like it! I'm the social type who likes to chitchat. :) I especially like when people ask about my job or how the bus works (can you tell?). Although it can be distracting in a difficult traffic situation. In those cases, usually what I do is I ask them to wait until I've cleared the roundabout, intersection or what have you.

Limefruit2 karma

Another Linköpingsbo here. You're awesome! Riktig stekare, haha.

As for a question: where would you like to put a new route/where do you think one is needed?

moenia1 karma

He, thanks!

Oh, great question! I've never really thought about it, but now that I do I'd probably put one between Malmslätt - Skäggetorp - Tornby. If you live in Malmslätt going to Tornby today you'd have to take 13 down to the terminal and then change to route 10. That's at least 35 min. With this new route - I'd call it route 11 - you could half that time.

in_jail_out_soon2 karma

How are swedish driving laws different to north ameri an driving laws?

moenia3 karma

I don't know that much about north american driving laws to be honest. One thing I've understood though is that we have way more roundabouts here than in NA.

hforlife2 karma

Would you make more money as a bus driver in Norway?

moenia1 karma

I believe so.

haydn1322 karma

[deleted]

moenia3 karma

On the city buses you'd be hard pressed finding any seatbelts since the average speed is so low and people go for relatively short distances before getting off. However, on regional buses and tourist coaches there are seatbelts and you have to wear them. Unfortunately few people do.

ramlosaappleftw2 karma

[deleted]

moenia6 karma

the bus is the way heavier object, which means it doesnt inflict too much damage unto itself and passengers.

This is somewhat true, but when it comes to high speed crashes it's a whole different matter. A lot of people die in bus crashes who could've been saved if they'd only wore their seatbelt.

letsgorightnowcunt2 karma

[deleted]

moenia2 karma

From what I understand, OMSI is your go-to simulator if you want a realistic experience. I haven't played it myself but I've watched A LOT of OMSI videos on Youtube. The engine sounds are great and the timetables are nice. I also appreciate the customizability and all the crazy people building real dashboards for the game. Pure awesome.

Bus Driver for Mac is a nice alternative, although not at all as advanced.

However, don't even go near anything resembling a bus simulator on Android. They're all crap.

hespook2 karma

  1. What model so you enjoy driving the most?

  2. I understand from reading the comments that you work with "lokaltrafiken". Have you done long runs as well? If so, what do you prefer? If not, do you think you would enjoy it more/less? Why?

  3. Do you prefer automatic or manual transmission? I talked to a bus driver one a trip to Norway and he preferred manual because he'd less boredhaving something additional to do.

  4. Are you a man med glatt humör?

Thank you!

moenia2 karma

  1. The MAN A23 CNG 313 (articulated) and A21 NL 313.
  2. Yeah, I recently started driving the regional routes. That's a lot of fun! I can't say I prefer one over the other. What I like about the longer, regional rides is the beautiful countryside and the fact that you don't have to stop and start every 300 meters. What I don't like about it is that I have to sell all the one way tickets from my machine, while you can buy them yourself in the self-service terminals on the city buses. This is the main reason of running late, especially if you have a lot of people paying with credit card. The city routes on the other hand are more action packed. There's more traffic, more passengers and a lot of other road users you have to pay attention to. I want a little bit of both to keep me entertained; that's why I like both regional and inner city traffic just as much.

  3. I definitely prefer automatic. I drove manual during my training, but it's not something I'd want to do again. Nowadays all modern buses are automatic. Manual is usually only available as an option. This is because the automatic transmissions are so fuel efficient these days.

  4. Ja, jag gör vad jag kan! I try my best!

Thank YOU!

Baskerbosse2 karma

How did you come to be a bus driver?

moenia2 karma

I worked as a youth leader in church for a while and I liked it there, but it was time to do something else. Before I knew it I was the biggest bus nerd ever and dreamt of operating these monsters on the road someday. When we moved I found a bus driver program in the same town and immediately applied.

I took classes in an upper secondary level adult education program for four months. That was my driving school so to speak. Included was a driving test for the D license. Once you have that you're allowed to legally drive a bus, but you can't have any passengers. For that you need the YKB (Yrkeskompetensbevis) - a certificate of professional competence which closely resembles the CPC in the UK. To get it you need 280 hours of additional training between the age of 18-20, and 140 hours if you're 21+. All this were included in the program.

You could go to a regular driving school and take all the tests on your own, but the adult education program made it all easier, especially because the program qualifies for student grants.

Flying_Swede2 karma

How do you feel about the pronounciation of Abisko? The robot lady pronounces it so strangely.

moenia1 karma

I pronounce it abi'sko, not a'bisko. How about you? You're from Linköping, I take it?

MirKhan1 karma

Have you never went outside of you're route and missed a couple of stops? What do you do then?

I'm always impressed how the bus drivers can learn all the routes, some can be preeeetty long! Then again, my "lokalsinne" is pretty bad, so maybe it´s easier for other people.

moenia1 karma

Basically every driver have taken a wrong turn at least once. Usually it takes a minute or two before people react. Why this is I have no idea. You announce that you screwed up and that you're gonna correct it as fast as possible. If you're humble and actually admit it and say you're sorry people will understand.

It's easier than you'd think! I learned 15+ routes in two weeks - and I'm not even from there.

Highspeed_Lowdrag1 karma

Are the buses Swedish or are you?

moenia1 karma

Technically no, the buses I drive are from Germany and Poland, but I drive them in Sweden and I myself are Swedish.

EMRaunikar1 karma

Do you have an interesting story about someone you have picked up?

moenia3 karma

I've had great talks with people sitting up front; divorced drunks, actors, sweet old ladys, hard working immigrants, you name it.

One day I picked up this young mom and her stroller. There were a lot of people getting on which made it hard for her to safely secure the stroller and get her bus pass out. When I shut the doors and drove off, she had just secured the stroller and sat down. She hadn't stamped her pass in the card reader yet, but I figured she'd probably do it at the next bus stop. This is not uncommon since not everybody want to move about in the bus while in motion.

At the next stop the ticket inspectors got onboard, and sure enough, the mom went up from her seat and stamped. I kept driving. When one of the inspectors got to the mom, she fined her with an inspection fee. She saw her getting up and stamping her ticket when, in the inspector's eyes, she noticed the inspectors at the bus stop. This is a valid reason for fining since you're supposed to have a valid ticket as soon as you get on.

The young mom with the child in her arms started crying. She was devastated. The inspector came up to me and told me what happened and kind of admitted that it was a bit harsh maybe. They got off and the mom followed me all the way to the end of the route. She was the only one getting off. I got up and talked to her.

She definitely didn't need that fine, I could tell. So I asked if I could look at it. "Sure, go ahead". I took it in my hand and I told her: "You know what, I want to pay this if you don't mind. What they did wasn't fair and I feel bad." She was stunned. At first she wouldn't let me, but I insisted. She dried her eyes, gave me a hug and thanked me.

And I felt good knowing I made a difference. :)

EMRaunikar2 karma

Two things. One: you're a great person for what you did. Two: you're an incredible person for answering as many questions as you can. That's a rarity in many AMAs.

moenia1 karma

Oh really? Wow, thanks! I'm pretty new to reddit so I don't really know how things work around here. I just figured it'd be fun to answer as many questions as possible, since people seem to want them answered and I've always been the type of guy who likes explaining things as detailed as possible. I have no idea why, but that's just who I am. :)

Take this post for example, the "Oh really? Wow, thanks!" would've been enough really :P

dick_wool1 karma

What do you think about while driving?

moenia1 karma

Good question! First of all I have to remember which route I'm on and which way I'm going if it's a two-way route, especially since we drive at least two different routes every shift. Secondly I need to keep an eye on the running board so that I don't depart too early from any of the control points. Other than that I listen to the radio a lot, preferably talk shows. Sometimes I think about what I'm supposed to do after I finished driving the route I'm on or just personal stuff.

albadil1 karma

What would change if, instead of Veolia running the service, it was:

  • a. Nationalised

  • b. Independent

  • c. Part of some national enterprise

moenia2 karma

Just as Tandgnissle said, the bus system in Sweden was a national matter not long ago. The municipalities and county councils coordinated the the bus traffic run by thousands of bus companies; a lot of which were small family businesses. Since the fateful year of 1988, following the deregulation of bus services, opening to free competition in the traffic contractor market, it has been nothing but downhill.

When a PTE (Passenger Transport Executive) calls for tenders they tend to just go for the contractor with the cheapest offer, which lead to employment and maintenance cuts and stressed out, irritable drivers. Fortunately, this is not true for all PTEs and contractors though.

I believe in municipalizing the traffic contractors. There shouldn't be any profit interests in public transport, since I regard it as part of the common welfare.

mauterfaulker1 karma

What's your favorite experience so far from working there?

moenia3 karma

Oh I've had many, but there's one that immediately comes to mind...

Late one night last winter I drove route 18; it's a two-way route going from Övre Johannelund - bus terminal - Garnisonen. A lot of people climb onboard at the bus terminal going the wrong way. It's worth noticing this is one of the longest city routes.

This particular evening a student girl in her 20's gets on at the bus terminal going to Garnisonen. With only a couple of stops left until the terminus, she walks up to me:

– This is the bus to Trädgårdstorget, right? she said, with apparent stress in her voice.

– No, sorry, that's 18 towards Övre Johannelund.

– Oh shit, I can't believe this. Oh crap...

– Yeah, people go the wrong way all the time.

– I was gonna meet a friend at Trädgårdstorget and she said I should take bus 18 from the terminal. She didn't mention you can go in different directions!

– Hey, it's okay, it's not far from the hospital [which is the penultimate stop on my route]. From there you can take bus 4 or 16. Let me ask traffic control when the next bus is.

– Could you do that? Oh, how kind of you!

The next bus wasn't due until 20 min later, so I offered her to wait at the terminus in my bus instead of freezing out there in the cold. So we just sat there waiting and talking about anything and everything and we really hit it off! It was so nice.

When I finally dropped her off at the hospital she thanked me once again emphatically and asked for my name. We said goodbye and I drove off with the biggest grin on my face.

That's the best thing about this job; the satisfaction of helping out, to go the extra mile for someone. I love it.

willyoubethere1 karma

As someone who is planning to travel through Sweden (and Norway): Is there anything I should aware of when using buses in Sweden? I once heard that in some buses, you can only pay the ticket by credit card - is it true?

moenia2 karma

Yes it's true. Most buses don't accept cash and not all accept credit cards either, not all city buses at least. There's usually a customer service center at the bus terminal where you can buy a ticket. If you're gonna stay somewhere for a couple of days, the most economic option would to buy a value card in the city you're in. You fill the card with a certain sum (usually the minimum is 100 SEK) which you then use to pay for a ticket on the bus/tram/commuter train.

However, those cards and tickets are only valid in the county where you bought them. There are plans on organizing a national standard, but that's a couple of years in the future.

Mobile payments are not an option unless you have a Swedish social security number. This applies throughout Sweden.

Good luck!

fackyouman1 karma

Who is your favorite football player, and why is it Zlatan?

moenia1 karma

I'm actually not a football fan at all... Wait, did you mention rally and downhill racing? I'm all ears!

Mabus1571 karma

Have you ever driven buses in other parts of Europe?

moenia1 karma

No, not yet. It would be fun to do that some day though. :)

Senuf1 karma

Are you allowed to listen to music (not very loud, of course) while driving?

moenia2 karma

Sure, we have a stereo at the driver's seat, although I prefer the talk shows.

pizzamannen1 karma

hello mate i am also from ur city, ur second picture is from the place where i live and i wanted to know how many of the bus drivers are somalian?

moenia1 karma

That's cool!

There's some Somali drivers yeah, but I can't give you any numbers. I couldn't care less though.

axeler1 karma

Am i the only one reading this in a corny swedish accent?

moenia1 karma

no :)

corkentellis1 karma

Do you feel invisible while working? I think it feels like people almost sees it as if the bus was driven by a robot, or even was driving itself.

I try to say "Hello :)" if I step on the bus at the front door, but often I forget it and feel a little bad. Seems like I am the only one even bothering though.

moenia2 karma

When I say hello most people answer me, but sometimes when you don't get a response you sure feel invisible. It's like "Hello, I'm the human who will take you to your destination! No? Oh okay."

Please keep saying hello to the drivers! It definitely makes a difference.

Thank you for the question!

Fedoralord1 karma

How do you deal with kebab on the bus?

moenia1 karma

Food and drinks are not allowed on the bus. If someone tries to get on with an icky kebab roll or even worse - ice cream, I have to stop them. However, coffee cups with lids or water bottles are OK I think.

3p0int14159265358971 karma

Do you play Counter Strike?

moenia1 karma

As a teenager I did, yes. Sometimes I get nostalgic and install it again, but I don't play any games regularly at all these days.

TheBigGuyUpstairs1 karma

How does it feel working for a French company :)

moenia1 karma

I like Veolia a lot! They are forward-thinkers, care about their employees and have the right focus, it seems. The big international Veolia Group is in the process of selling Veolia Transport, though. They are well on their way in the rest of the world, but apparently Veolia Transport Sweden is hard to sell. They have been negotiating off and on again for a couple of years now.

It won't make much of a difference for us the drivers, but I don't want to say goodbye to Veolia, since they have a really nice graphic design. Nobina, Arriva and Keolis are the three biggest bus operators besides Veolia in Sweden and none of them are as good looking as Veolia. If I had to choose I'd go with Arriva. ;)

Rude_Etude1 karma

Does anyone ever eat lutefisk on the bus?

moenia1 karma

haha no!

DorianGainsboro1 karma

Tjena!

How do you feel about the risk of loosing your job to driverless vehicles? Not sure if you've followed the evolution of this since 2005 when Google won the race. But Gothenburg was recently in the news about Volvo and its driverless cars.

Do you think that your profession will become obsolete within a foreseeable future?

moenia1 karma

Great question! I don't fear for the risk of losing my job, no. I believe human customer service are too important, although I think it's more likely that we'll see more of the driverless trains before we do cars. It's an exciting field of technological advances, but I don't wanna let go of the steering wheel just yet.

Zwekick21 karma

Do you let kids without a ticket ride along?

moenia2 karma

Most of the time, yes. I am often very forgiving; especially when it comes to kids. They who genuinely lost their bus pass or actually didn't know they didn't have enough money on it can come with. This goes for those who easily could've prevented it too, but to them I say they can come with at their own risk. If a ticket inspector climbs onboard they'll get a hefty fine.

If someone obviously try to take advantage of my kindness or lie to my face I politely lecture them in how the system works and that they need a valid ticket to ride the bus.

lyktstolpe1 karma

Why does the rear rear lights on Östgötatrafikens buses flicker so much? It seems like a recent thing.

moenia2 karma

So you've noticed! This is a known problem with Veolia's Solaris buses (they usually operate on the rural routes). Solaris' own technicians have been troubleshooting this problem onsite several times without finding a permanent solution. I don't know of a flickering problem with any of the other operator's buses.

toskud1 karma

Have you ever driven 526 to or from Vreta Klosters Kyrka? A very nice ride. Beautiful scenery in the countryside, especially now when the rape fields are in bloom. When you get closer to town, the bus takes you right to work without fussing around in the inner city.

moenia1 karma

No, not yet! I just started driving the rural routes so I haven't had time to drive them all yet. I've done 521 and 522 though. It's absolutely beautiful in Berg/Ljungsbro and I've noticed the rape fields are all over Linköping! Fantastic.

Kanthes1 karma

What is your stance on the person in the front seat having a chat with the driver? I generally do that every now and then (when nobody elderly needs the seat, obviously), but I always worry if I'm being an annoyance!

moenia1 karma

I have no problem with your kind of people at all; I encourage it! I'm the social kind of guy and I love talking, especially when they have questions about how all things work with the buses, the systems and all that (have you noticed?). There are drivers who'd rather drive around empty all day though, who hate to interact with other people, so I guess you have to be a little smooth when determining if the driver wants to keep talking to you or not.

aihcconar1 karma

Have you ever imagined yourself as a bus driver when you were a kid? If yes, you're my new personal hero :)

moenia2 karma

Sorry to disappoint, but no. However, when I first got the idea it became a dream that just HAD to come true! I became the biggest bus nerd of all and fantasized about it, started driving my car as the bus would among other things. When I finally got to sit behind the wheel of one of these monsters I just knew this was what I was meant to do. :)

Sometimes at work I crack into the biggest smile when I realize that I'm sitting there driving a bus, that I actually get PAID for driving around in REAL buses on a daily basis! It's amazing really... :)

herpderpherpderp0 karma

Proof please?

Also, can you only drive Swedish buses or do you sometimes drive buses of other origins?

moenia6 karma

Proof coming up!

Actually, at our depot we have nothing but the German MANs and Polish Solaris. I've also driven Dutch VanHools and Volvo ofc, but there's not much of a difference really. Most modern buses functions in roughly the same way.

msheahan99-1 karma

what time is it there?

moenia3 karma

Right not it's 11:39 AM. :)