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RTD Denver Bus ServiceRude Drivers

E Review updated:

I took the Denver's RTD bus service today to a job interview. Route 76 northbound. I asked for a transfer and was given one by the driver. I should add that the majority of the drivers are fantastic on RTD and I can quantify this comment by the simple reason that I've used the service at least 200 times in the past two years.
Today was different on the return trip though..

I took the southbound 76 (bus driver by the name of Darla) and when I got on the driver looked closely at the time and then closer at the transfer and told me I couldn't use it for the return trip. She informed me that on the back of the transfer it states for tranfer only not good on return route. Which it does state..

That's fine. Except I have NEVER been denied (nor informed) usage of a tranfer on a return route and I NEVER seen anyone else be denied a ride along a return route.
Never. In a couple of hundred rides.

So, I ponied up another 2 dollars to go 1.5 miles.

I wouldn't have minded so much if the driver hadn't been so outwardly hostile. Then again she was hostile to two other riders on the bus as well and one hadn't done anything beyond say a polite thank you as she got off the bus and the other was almost kicked off the bus because he was sitting sideways in his seat. She threatned to kick him off the bus twice if he didnt sit straight. It was surreal what I just saw. Maybe it was because all three of us were white and she's a native american. Who knows? <shrug>


  • Br
    Bruce Uchida Mar 28, 2019

    Yesterday, 3/27/2019 There were 2 of us waiting a Wagon Road to board the AA. The driver was checking his smart phone and sitting approxmitaly 20 feet from us. At 6:00+/- he got up and proceeded to his bus and promptly left. The other passenger tried to "run" to let him know that we were passengers. To no avail he drove off w/out us and the bus was empty. This driver is rather salty and non verbal. I have had great luck with other drivers, they are courteous, helpful, and informative.

    0 Votes
  • An
    antihackergirl31 Aug 04, 2018

    I was riding on the 15l, I work at the local drug store on east Colfax, I 'am disappointed in their service. Every time I get on the bus one of your drivers picks a small fight with me about the payment. I sense that they are discriminating on me for being a white woman. I might be wrong but why do they have a right to be smart [censored] to me???, I said nothing to him, and I expect the same back. No smiling, at me sorry, in my head that is not reality when you just got off work. If your in a bad mood just be quiet, nobody told him to open his mouth, he doesn't have to be anywhere special at 10:30 pm, he was the one that was late.

    Sometimes I will put five bucks in the machine, and they will penny pench me for every dime, that I have, they are the ones on the clock, when I clock out.

    If I treated my customers, the way RTD drivers treated there's, I would get fired or given a final warning for my mouth. Why is their behavior excusable, but a local clerks behavior is not excusable?

    I don't care how much he makes, his account means nothing to me I would have given the dude 20 cents, if he stopped complaining.

    If they are in a bad mood, tell them to take it OFF the clock, and smile more like I have to when I'm on the clock.

    If they don't want to that's fine, just take my payment, and don't say a word.

    He wanted me to dig into my purse for 20 cents more, for a day pass even though I wasn't really requesting a day pass, I was requesting a 3 hour pass.

    I don't care if I don't have exact change, sometimes i'm nice like that, he said I was killing his time. What time? He should count himself lucky that he has a job. Some people don't, be thankful. If I have to smile after something bad just happened to me at home when I go to work, then he does too.

    Tell all your drivers to start being kinder to the riders because I get the sense i'm not the first person he's copped an attitude with, these people are paying him this time, it's not the other way around

    0 Votes
  • Ju
    juji Jan 21, 2018

    It's affirming to read some of the frustrations of RTD bus riders.
    I love RTD, and have had no complaints for 4 years, until last week.
    I was running a bit late, and ran to catch bus 12. I ran on the bus and told the driver I would pay, and I had the money. I then realized that I didn't have my wallet, and I made a mistake. I began to frantically dig around for money in my pockets. He told me he would have to drop me off at the next stop. I stood there quietly and kept and searching and searching for money. When we arrived at the stop. He just barked at me to get off. I was in shock by how he needed to humiliate me. Yes, I needed to leave the bus, but why did he need to berate me?
    Yes, I made a mistake. But did I really deserve to be humiliated? I was in shock, and confused. I repeat again that the mistake was mine. I own this. But why did he take advantage of the power situation? I didn't argue let alone speak with him at all during this scenario. I was occupied with looking for money. After being barked at, I mentally froze. I thanked him and left the bus.
    I do believe it is fair that I shouldn't ride the bus if I am not going to pay. However, now I don't know if I'll ride the bus again soon. Perhaps I will put my money towards other transportation uses.

    0 Votes
  • Bg
    BG Dulce Sep 30, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    It seems that all people complain about everything, it is really annoying. Be thankful that there are busses or simply get a job that pays you good enough to get your own car and stop being a pain. You definitively will see more bad behavior from passengers and customers than drivers being rude That is for sure, all they do is complain cause they have nothing better to do!!! Some people like always!!!

    0 Votes
  • So
    Somebody Spectacular Apr 04, 2017

    @BG Dulce How often do you ride the bus? Quit telling people to stop complaining and to be thankful that there is a bus air get a job so that they can drive. There are people in this world who can't drive for one reason or another. I have had an equal amount of bad experiences as good experiences on the bus. About half the drivers I come in contact with don't seem to care about anything but ignoring everybody as much as possible and being antisocial. Those drivers need a new job if they hate dealing with the public if you ask me. I've don't complain about every little thing because I have better things to focus on.

    1 Votes
  • Pu
    Purevsuren Mar 20, 2011

    My Dear RTD- Denver.
    I love public transportation. I really do. But, I have to tell you that lately, bus drivers are becoming rude, angry and unusual. So sad.
    I wanted to tell you the incident that happened to me this morning.( 03/20/2011, at between 11:05 and 11:15 am)
    I saw bus standing in front of bus stop ( Clermont and 9th avenue), its engine was running and its front door left open. I came to bus stop and asked bus driver lady that if she was # 10 bus which will run to Downtown Denver in 10 minuts. She said with very rude voice that, " Does my bus says #10 to you? I said, I do not know, hard to say? ( May be my English accent made her unconfortable). She said angryly, " am not, I am just sitting here". I walked away and waited on 2nd bus. But, I kept thinking of that, as she said if she was just sitting there why not turn engine off? Hmm, waste of fuel. waste of money especially in this bad economy. That was the all I thought. 2nd bus came to stop then I got on it and took my seat. Then I asked 2nd bus ( bus number 5190) driver that why engine suppose to keep running. since she just sitting there? He said She is the extra bus, she will be here all day, but he does not know why she keeps engine run? Then he got off. All of sudden I was the lady driver coming to 2nd bus which I was in it with very angry face. She walked to me and asked me "WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?. I said : I am sorry? I have no problem here. I said, I just wondering why you have to keep engine running since you are just sitting there, it is waste of fuel, dot you think? OMG, She was angry, and loud, kept saying that it was RTD rule, was not her fault...OMG? She fired up. I was scared and shaking, then have to tell bus driver that I was so sorry, did not want to any trouble. Then bus driver threatened me to report or harassing or something. She was so angry I was so scared. Even though I was just passenger ( in 2nd bus, not in hers), I kept saying sorry. Finally she walked out with forcing her fellow driver who was listening whole unfriendly conversation that to get my name. He said OK to her. Maybe he was scared, too. I was "just" regular passenger who loves to take public transportation ever since I came to America. I am so sorry I and my english accent got your bus driver upset. Nobody asked you perfect service. I do know everybody is trying their best. But, why not she can give "just" normal service to passengers. Do you really think that she needed to go to next bus to start argument? Do you really think that she is doing her job? By the may, I had chance to look at her name and badge number. Her name is DAWN, ID- 40029, as her badge says. Does she help you to improve your service or increase your profits or decrease business losses? or Will she? or Did she? What if I was her passenger, what will she do?, Do we have enough safe bus drivers? Do you really think that her fellow driver had to say sorry to passenger for her bad behavior? I felt I was soo small and scared infront of bus driver in public transportation.

    Other than that, RTD, you are helping people improve their lives, and our economy.

    Good luck to you RTD- Denver
    Sincerely, Your friend Puje.

    2 Votes
  • Tw
    two-M's Feb 01, 2011

    I use to be a bus operator for Rtd, and I sincerely apologize for the lackluster customer service that you all have received. What I am about to share with everyone is not an accuse, but to try and help you understand the interworkings of this company. The driver first and foremost do not have the backing or the support of RTD management, this company seemingly does everything in its power to charge driver's with some sort of occurrence weather it be customer complaints or attendance, accidents, dress codes, or even enforcing the bus fare is seen by RTD management as a no no, but RTD has undercover passengers who report to management whenever we don't inform the passengers that they need to pay full bus fare. The street supervisors (supervisors who sit in a white RTD vehicle and oversees the bus routes while they are servicing the public) are more often than not extremely incompetent, uncaring, harsh, bullish, and rude. You could have gang members on your bus about to attack you, or the same passenger day after day after day not pay the fare, but the only concern from the street supervisors is doing a uniform check! Also the fact that must driver's go long periods of time without a day off can contribute to them becoming very hostile to passenger's, it is not uncommon for bus operators to go more than two or three month's without any time off, and if they request time off they are often denied, if you call in and don't report for work even if that day happens to be your regular day off you can run the risk of being terminated. I am not trying to gain anyone's sympathy I only wanted to enlighten passengers to a small sample of what the operators deal with on a daily basis. If the light rail and bus operator's look very unhappy and angery that's because they are, and it starts with upper management and work's it's way down to the paying customer's and unfortuntely that mean's bad customer service to the passenger who don't deserve it.

    2 Votes
  • Vo
    VoutyBlonde Nov 18, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I am, also, astonished by the downright nasty way we riders are treated by the bus and light rail operators of RTD. Some of their hostile actions are truly safety issues. I've observed bus drivers who refused to offer information to tourists and conventioneers at stops in-and-around Downtown. I was recently on a "Petrie dish" of a Mall Shuttle and saw the driver intentionally bump an old couple who walked in his path -- blaring his horn while doing so. Frequently, the Mall Shuttle drivers will all rendezvous at either end of the 16th Street Mall and shut down service for up to 30 minutes. They do this during peak hours...what is that about? When they finally start running again, the shuttles are packed by the second or third stop.
    The Park & Rides are full-to-overflowing by 7 a.m. (although there are plenty of vacant lots a block away - 25th and Welton). Yesterday I attempted to board the Light Rail at 25th and Welton...the doors opened and closed immediately, not allowing us all to board -- then the operator got out to load a customer in a wheelchair while we were all pushing that green door button. The doors didn't open and she pulled away with a smirk on her face leaving us all to wait for the next train...I walked to my office at 16th and Broadway. A couple of weeks ago I parked at the big P&R at I-25 and Broadway. I had never used that one, but I knew I wanted to take the "O" to Civic Center Station. I saw my bus sitting at a stop, and asked the driver if his was the bus I need to get downtown...he refused to give me any information. Don't bother making a complaint to will be ignored by the one little foreign lady who handles all the complaints. Her English is poor and she will not follow-up (with so many Americans out of work how did she get a job where she is totally ineffective).
    With the new rate increase, RTD is no longer the most cost effective way to commute. I can buy downtown, inside parking for less than what they are demanding for a monthly Express pass...and not have to be subjected to the filthy buses, shuttles and trains -- and the unhappy people who operate them. The CEO's salary alone is hundreds of thousands of your tax dollars, and now they want us to foot the bill for their Light Rail Expansion, and the building of the new Union Station, by imposing a rate hike on the working class.
    Is there no one out there advocating for us?

    3 Votes
  • Sp
    sparkling_star Nov 15, 2010

    You're fortunate that you've only had one really bad driver in hundreds of trips. I have given up on RTD--I only use them because I literally have no other way to get around. Your comment was from 2009, so perhaps in the last year more drivers have gotten to be like this? I've had drivers refuse to offer a transfer after paying full fair using one of those pre-paid tickets. I've literally watched drivers drive by exits and stops regardless of the circumstances. And then, well, back to the transfer issue--I got on the bus one day and had a driver get angry with me and say "This transfer is almost expired" as if to suggest that despite the fact that it was NOT expired and I was still continuing from original destination, he was not going to allow me to board (btw, it had almost expired because he was running about 30 minutes late).

    The drivers are rude and their superiors are worse. Plain and simple.

    2 Votes

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