Yes, it was, in Belgium Street, in the early afternoon today. It had a lot of passengers so it must have come from the ferry at Matiatia (or at least from Oneroa) and it was going to Onetangi because it showed that as its destination. The Onetangi buses had been route 1 for years, until insane, worse-than-incompetent Auckland Transport (AT), led by Colin Homan, got the notion that the code for every single Waiheke route had to be 50-something, where something can be a number or a letter whose meaning is known only to Mr Homan and his AT staff. Of course, because all the codes start with 50, that makes those characters meaningless. So 50-something is meaningless piled on pointless: well done!
But that bus was displaying a variation on 1: 1X. And the LEDs displaying both it and the destination were white.
Does that mean that at least some Waiheke buses have the kind of LEDs that can change colour, even though till they have have displayed only amber? All buses should have that sort of LED.
If they have, AT should roll back a tad of its insanity and use them to help people; either use white for buses going to and fro between Onetangi Beach and the ferry, and amber for the ones going to and fro between Rocky Bay and the ferry; or white for buses going to the ferry from both places (because the ferries are white), and amber going to beach/bay (because wet sand is roughly that colour).
Then we would all be able to recognise instantly which bus was ours, at a considerable distance. And there would be no need for those silly, useless, meaningless, pointless route-codes. Only names would be needed, which is all that ever is needed--i.e., ONETANGI via Surfdale, ROCKY BAY via Palm Beach (not that PC-activist, historically-wrong 'Omiha'), MATIATIA FERRY via Surfdale, and MATIATIA FERRY via Palm Beach.
People go to destinations, Mr Homan and your staff, not routes, and destinations have names, not codes dreamed up by profligate, worse-than-incompetent bunglers.
(They underline their worse-than-incompetence by still displaying the winter ferry timetable on their website. If that link no longer works it means they have finally got it right some time after this blog entry was posted. They also display the current one elsewhere. Confusion rules: OK!?)
It is of course impossible to imagine that anyone at AT could suddenly have had a rush of sense, especially on a holiday, so the mysterious 1X in white must have been set up by someone at the Waiheke Bus Compaany. Whoever it was, take a bow.
It seems that the bows should be taken by some Waiheke-minded bus-drivers, because yesterday a 1 appeared in the LED signs of an Onetangi bus passing through Oneroa. It must have been put there by the driver (he also had a physical sign in the window showing AT's insane 50A, thus thumbing his nose at AT in that way too). Would that all the drivers and the management of the Waiheke Bus Company would do the same. Would that they would have the guts to carry on as if the evil, mad entity called AT had never existed. Reset everything: routes, codes, timetables. Everything. AT could not do anything about it. And if they tried, tell them to pull their wicked heads in or there will be a strike. Thus use the driver-shortage as a weapon to restore sense and service.
Defying AT and reinstating what has worked for years would be the right thing to do. It is always right to defy madness and evil. Will the drivers and their company have the Kiwi guts to do the right thing?