I Wanna Ride The Bus!

Friday, March 03, 2006

A Blog is Born...

So I've taken the plunge and decided to join the throngs of people who run their own blog.

So why write about taking the bus?

I clicked, no that's the wrong word, stumbled on an excellent blog (when I've worked out how to place a link on this site, I'll add it,) written by a London Underground station supervisor and was enlightened by the comments on that site. I found other blogs equally stimulating, and decided that the world could stand my little jottings every now and again.

But isn't taking the bus in Greater Manchester is somewhat removed from being a station supervisor for a busy tube station?

Well it is and it isn't. I have great regard for those who work on the London Underground, they do a tough job. Some blog sites have a go at the staff on the Underground, but I've never had a bad word to say about what they do. If I go to London, I'll probably write about a visit and my experience on the tube, and compare it to riding the bus round here.

London has several things in common with Manchester. One thing is the size of the place. London is big. Very big. Manchester and Salford are two cities leaning against each other, and with the other boroughs, the area that is "Greater Manchester" is fairly big. It's possible to lose yourself in some places in Manchester and think that you're in some of the London boroughs. Salford and Hackney have both featured on BBC's Life of Grime series. Both areas have some kind of over-arching transport body - London's has teeth, while here the authority just leaves sloppy gum marks, if it manages to bite at all.

You may think from that introduction that I'm a little bit critical towards the authority in question, the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive.

You'd be right. GMPTE is the authority that owns the bus stops, bus stations, the land on which the Metrolink tracks rest, and the body which tenders out sponsored bus services to the operators in the area. They have something to do with the trains in the area as well, but they don't like to talk about them, because here, in the alternate reality of GMPTE-land, the tram is King, the bus a Prince Regent, and the trains are the little fiddly things that they have to deal with by law.

So come with me on a journey. It may be a bit scary at times, but that's just the world that we live in.

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