Drivers happy to give change if time is right

By Amelia Wade

Amelia Wade waits in trepidation at the bus-stop with her green bill. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Amelia Wade waits in trepidation at the bus-stop with her green bill. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Bus drivers seem happy to take your $20 note for a cheap trip - as long as it's not rush hour and there's not a snaking queue waiting behind you.

Yesterday, I randomly surveyed five buses from three companies about midday as to whether the driver would accept a green bill for a trip two stages or less.

All the drivers took the note without a comment, glare or huff, though the one behind the wheel of the Inner Link was forced to hand over $10 of $2 coins.

"Everyone's been giving me 20s today," she said.

To have a $20 note accepted without so much as a sigh was a refreshing change in attitude, though the time of day likely had an impact on change boxes and dispositions.

Usually when I hand a driver a $20 - the smallest denomination the ATM will give me - I dread being growled at despite my fare taking up the best part of $5.

About a month ago a driver said: "You should make sure you always have something smaller for the bus".

"Don't blame me, blame the ATMs," I replied before being handed a fistful of change.

A colleague said he had been told: "This is a B-U-S, not an A-T-M".

- NZ Herald

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